It’s not surprising that family violence is a subject that is sparingly addressed in the family law universe. It is painful to focus upon, yielding adverse consequences and often destroying relationships. In extreme cases featuring home-based abuse, people are seriously hurt or even die.
Given its almost taboo nature in some quarters, it stands to reason that a number of fallacies have emerged over time concerning what domestic violence precisely is and how it should be defined.
A long-experienced family violence expert addresses in a recent media piece what she believes are multiple misconceptions concerning domestic abuse, a realm she says is “shrouded in misinformation.”
For starters, asserts Susan R. Paisner, it is gross error to view domestic violence solely in narrow terms of physical lashing out. Many thousands of victims seek help daily because another party is subjecting them to verbal abuse, various forms of harassment, intimidation, emotional duress, stalking behaviors, undue financial control and other types of harms. Physical violence is of course a core determinant of family abuse, but it is merely one component among many others.
Another misinformed view that Paisner points to is the assumption that home violence is overwhelmingly if not completely a problem confined to female victims. In fact, reliable evidence posits that nearly one-third of American heterosexual males have been subjected to some form of violence committed by a partner.
Paisner’s bottom line underscores the need to be duly reflective when thinking and talking about domestic abuse. It occurs across all demographics and in every area of the country, and it obviously needs to be timely and properly addressed in every instance.
Failure to do so can bring dire results.