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Domestic violence requires action and support

Connecticut residents may have gotten the news that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. However, few people realize that many victims of domestic violence are men. Women certainly suffer from domestic violence far more frequently than men do, but we shouldn't assume that men aren't also subject to domestic abuse.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that up to 85 percent of reported acts of domestic violence are against women. However, a study by the National Centers for Disease Control reports that as many as 40 percent of all domestic violence events categorized as "severe" are against men. In addition, over half of domestic violence acts that involve deadly weapons are perpetrated against male victims.

For men and women who are seeking a divorce due to domestic violence, it is imperative that they adequately document the disputes. That process entails calling the police when physical or verbal abuse occurs.

In addition, once the divorce has been filed, victims are encouraged to ask the court for child custody evaluations when children are involved. An evaluator who is trained in issues of domestic violence will be able to recognize the presence of such behavior, no matter the gender of the victim. In addition, it is important for women and men alike to speak out about their experience, and to gain support from friends, family and the community in the form of advocacy programs and victim resources.

Stamford-area residents should keep in mind that the need to adequately protect yourself and your children from violent treatment is more important than the urge to play down one's status as a victim. The courts, as well as society in general, are becoming more attuned to the issue of domestic violence. By presenting strong evidence of abuse, victims in Connecticut stand to obtain a favorable outcome during divorce and child custody proceedings.

Source: Huffington Post, "The Five Musts For Dealing With Domestic Violence In Your Divorce," Joseph E. Cordell, Oct. 10, 2012

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