According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois saw 114,921 reports of domestic violence in 2006. The NCADV also found that about one in every four women will eventually be targeted by domestic violence, with over 1.3 million women being attacked by their boyfriend, husband or partner each year. Despite the prevalence of domestic assault against women, the National Centers for Disease Control found that 40 percent of all instances of severe domestic violence involved men as victims, with increasingly more men being assaulted by their significant others each year.
Unfortunately, men who try to accuse their spouses of domestic violence in a divorce case are often met with disbelief or accused of trying to gain sympathy in order to receive a favor regarding child custody, property division or alimony awards. Illinois residents planning on divorcing an abusive spouse should be sure to contact a qualified family law attorney to ensure their rights are properly protected.
Victims of domestic abuse should not hesitate to call the police. This holds true even if their spouse verbally assaults them or threatens them. Domestic abuse can come in emotional, financial and verbal forms, which can be just as harmful as physical violence. Obtaining a restraining order before filing for divorce may be necessary if one's spouse is prone to violent outbursts. Victims of domestic abuse should ask their attorneys about how to request such an order to protect themselves and their children.
Family or joint counseling may seem like a potential way to repair a relationship with an abusive spouse, but experts recommend against such a course of action until both spouses have undergone individual counseling to assess their mental and emotional states. A better understanding of these dynamics can help one determine whether a relationship can be repaired or would be best be resolved with divorce.
Victims of domestic violence often fail to report the abuse they suffer due to a social stigma attached to doing so. Such individuals are urged to contact an attorney, the police, friends or family to seek help and put a stop to their pain.
Source: Huffington Post, "The Five Musts For Dealing With Domestic Violence In Your Divorce," Joseph E. Cordell, Oct. 10, 2012