Federal Legislation on Domestic Violence

There is a surprising amount of legislation in place protecting women and other victims from domestic violence. There are state mandatory reporting laws for domestic violence, which I wasn’t aware of, very similar to the mandatory reporting laws for child abuse. Read the following pdf file about these laws: mandatory.reporting (pdf file). project-connect

Project Connect is a national initiative through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to change how tween and teen health, female reproductive health, and Native health services respond to sexual and domestic violence. Project Connect can

help improve maternal and adolescent health and decrease the risks for unplanned pregnancy, poor pregnancy outcomes, and further abuse

There are several landmark cases that have been decided under these new interstate provisions. For example, in United States v. Rita Gluzman (NY), the defendant traveled from New Jersey to New York with the intention of killing her estranged husband. The weapons she took with her were used in the murder. Gluzman was convicted for this crime. In United States v. Mark A. Sterkel (1997), the defendant was convicted of interstate stalking after traveling from Utah to Arizona to threaten his former boss.

Office on Violence Against Women, a division of the United States Department of Justice, seeks to, through federal leadership, reduce violence against women and administer justice for the crimes committed in victims, as well as to ensure there are services and resources available to victims of not just domestic violence but also of dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Congress has passed two main federal laws on domestic violence. The first is Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), under which a domestic violence misdemeanor is one in which someone is convicted for a crime “committed by an intimate partner, parent, or guardian of the victim that required the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon” (Section 922 (g)[9]). Under these guidelines, an intimate partner is a spouse, a former spouse, a person who shares a child in common with the victim, or a person who cohabits or has cohabited with the victim. VAWA originally allowed victims of domestic abuse to sue for damages in civil court. However, this part of the VAWA was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brzonkala v. Morrison (2000), wherein the court held that Congress did not have the authority to implement such a law. The Violence Against Women Act states:

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was the first major law to help government agencies and victim advocates work together to fight domestic violence, sexual assault, and other types of violence against women. It created new punishments for certain crimes and started programs to prevent violence and help victims. Over the years, the law has been expanded to provide more programs and services. Currently, some included items are:

  • Violence prevention programs in communities
  • Protections for victims who are evicted from their homes because of events related to domestic violence or stalking
  • Funding for victim assistance services like rape crisis centers and hotlines
  • Programs to meet the needs of immigrant women and women of different races or ethnicities
  • Programs and services for victims with disabilities
  • Legal aid for survivors of violence
  • Services for children and teens

The National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women works to help promote the goals and vision of VAWA. The committee is a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Examples of the committee’s efforts include the Community Checklist initiative to make sure each community has domestic violence programs and the Toolkit to End Violence Against Women, which has chapters for specific audiences

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act:

provides the main federal funding to help victims of domestic violence and their dependents (such as children). Programs funded through FVPSA provide shelter and related help. They also offer violence prevention activities and try to improve how service agencies work together in communities

Click here for more laws and legislation for domestic violence.

As always, you can reach me anytime at emotionalabusehurts@cybergal.com. Thank you for reading!

Hard-to-Find Resources for Other Forms of Domestic Violence

This post is an extension of my earlier post, Resources & Statistics from a Longtime Victim, in which I provided links to a myriad of resources and information for victims of domestic violence of all forms, as well as gave current statistics in regard to domestic violence and links to some very important websites of domestic violence organizations. I want to expand on the information I already provided, as I came across information about other types of abuse which I hadn’t thought to list and which are not as often portrayed in the media or anywhere else in this country. I wanted to be thorough in my research, which I literally spent all day, from the time I woke up at 9:30 this morning until right now, 11:21pm. If there is any specific issue I have missed or if you would like to see a post about a specific topic, I would be happy to oblige, email me at: emotionalabusehurts@cybergal.com Continue reading “Hard-to-Find Resources for Other Forms of Domestic Violence”

Resources & Statistics from a Longtime Victim

Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. Worse! You can heal broken bones; you can’t heal a broken mind — Dia Reeves 

Since I am so ashamed of and embarrassed by my choice (and remember that it is always your choice) to puss out and continue my abusive relationship for all these years, this blog is my attempt at self-redemption. I have only within the last two years realized that I really, truly made a very poor choice in judgment. In my attempt to educate others in hopes they don’t make the same mistake I did, I give more resources and statistics on domestic violence than one person will ever need, as well as information
specifically on emotional and verbal abuse, along with other forms of abuse.

hotline-logo4The National Domestic Violence Hotline is probably one of the best resources you’ll find which addresses every possible topic related to domestic violence you can think of. There’s help in identifying abuse, articles and a blog addressing a variety of topics, including “Is Change Possible in an Abuser?” and “Can I Save Them?”, an article focused on those thinking they can save their abuser. There’s a link to philanthropist Lundy Bancroft’s books on domestic violence. Reading books is a wonderful coping skill for anyone dealing with an abusive relationship. Knowledge is power, and power gives you the strength to GTFO! According to the NDVH website,

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year

These statistics, provided by The National Domestic Violence Hotline, are astounding. Unfortunately there’s a lot more statistics:

Nearly 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their functioning.
Nearly, 15% of women (14.8%) and 4% of men have been injured as a result of IPV that included rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
IPV alone affects more than 12 million people each year.
More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively)
Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence
From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female
Most female victims of intimate partner violence were before victimized by the same offender, including 77% of females ages 18 to 24, 76% of females ages 25 to 34, and 81% of females ages 35 to 49

There are plenty of fantastic resources as well as thorough information for victims planning an escape, who are looking for shelter, as well as articles for those who have already escaped their abuser but need help in order to move on with their lives as a healthy, emotionally strong person.  Visit their website and browse their many pages offering help in whatever capacity you need. If you need any help with finding what you need or actually making any necessary calls, I will help you no problem. Shoot me an email at little_lulu@artlover.com, give me your phone number, and I will call you immediately. logo-v2@2x-3f28572e4ff32386bdb5730ff1f3ac28

Another great website offering help finding local shelters, you will love what’s available at domesticshelters.org. They have tons of articles, including “Danger Assessment Could Predict Whether an Abuser Will Kill” and “When No One Believes You“. There are also links to a few online forums for those wishing to escape their abuser, such as aftersilence.org and experienceproject.com. Another article I found very useful in helping those who aren’t sure if they are being abused, called “Abusive Red Flags Everyone Should KnowHow to Recognize Emotional Abuse“. This site has more topics covered than any other site I have ever visited. One topic covered which I have often thought about with my situation but didn’t pursue it: crime victim compensation. According to domesticshelters.org:

State crime victim compensation programs intend to cover expenses that insurance or other public benefit programs won’t. Each state’s program varies slightly, so it’s important to refer to the program guidelines in the state where the crime occurred to decide what benefits are available and how exactly to apply for them

Crime victim compensation is available in varying amounts in all 50 states. It helps a victim recover money lost in medical and dental bills, lost wages, loss of child support payments, damage done to the victim’s home–in fact they even cover funeral costs in cases of homicide by one spouse on the other.

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click here Nat’l Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards

 

The National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards ( to find victim coverage in your state) helps victims of domestic violence by offering financial compensation to domestic violence victims when insurance or other such programs fail to cover the victim’s expenses. It was the first type of victim assistance program in the United States. I only learned of this program today as I prepared my research for this post. You can find more information on NACVCB here, where you will also find links to many more resources. Newlogowebsite

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is another nationwide victim assistance organization which offers many resources to victims. The one thing this organization offers which I found very resourceful and up and coming, is the use of webinars. I haven’t yet seen this, and know from experience how beneficial it is to take part in a webinar as opposed to simply educating oneself by reading. It’s interactive and as mentioned in my last post, it is exactly what a victim of domestic violence needs to feel a strong connection to other people. Here is a printable pdf publication put out by NCADV “Facts About Domestic Violence and Psychological Abuse” which I thought would be useful for the people using my blog who are real victims of psychological, or emotional abuse. This organization has a great deal of educational tools which includes many publications for printing for another time. Definitely make use of this website as well.

 

nnedvlogo

The National Network to End Domestic Violence, according to their website,

a social change organization, is dedicated to creating a social, political and economic environment in which violence against women no longer exists.

They offer help and resources in seeking economic justice once victims have escaped their abuser, as well as information and links to resources and forms for transitional housing, in preparation for the victim of becoming a survivor. It appears to me that this organization really stresses finding financial independence from one’s abuser. They also give an enormous amount of information about legislation on domestic violence and how to get help in seeking justice. They also have a very informative take action page, encouraging visitors to the site to educate themselves on domestic violence legislation and to reach out to local, state, and federal government officials in trying to increase the number of and strength of the current legislation.

Another helpful and resourceful website I discovered was The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, one of four national Special Issue Resource Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their focus is the mental health aspect of all forms of domestic violence, but particularly the long-term effects most commonly associated with emotional or verbal abuse. There are a slew of serious long-term mental issues present in domestic violence victims, such as inability to trust, fear of abandonment, severe insecurity and inability to make decisions, among a host of others. According to their website, The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health

provides training, support, and consultation to advocates, mental health and substance abuse providers, legal professionals, and policymakers as they work to improve agency and systems-level responses to survivors and their children. Our work is survivor defined and rooted in principles of social justice.

CAEPV

There is one last national resource for domestic violence victims I would like to take a moment to discuss, and that is Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Verizon Wireless, seeks to discuss the issue of the higher costs and consequences to the workplace when an employee is a victim of domestic violence. Founded in 1995, it’s the only organization of its kind. Though the website clearly states that the ultimate goal is to increase corporate profits by reducing the costs associated with domestic violence on employees. The banner on the heading of their website states they are “dedicated to providing the community and our members unmatched resources about partner violence”. Here’s what they had to say about their purpose:

We envision enhanced corporate profitability through reduction of rising expenses related to partner violence, such as health care costs and expenses due to low productivity, high turnover, and absenteeism

I will admit they have a very detailed page listing the many events they put together for their members and the community, in order to raise awareness and end domestic violence. These events are not just hosted on a local level; they also offer national events. One enormous national event they organized which I have heard about for years is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The most impressive quality this organization has to boast is affiliated with and sponsored by Verizon Wireless, having created a nonprofit division called Hopeline, which aims to prevent, educate and empower: prevent domestic violence, educate the community and empower domestic violence victims.  One of the ways which they carry out through the donating of no longer used cell phones, which turns into valuable financial support for the initiatives they support.

The resources I have chronicled here are invaluable to victims and their loved ones. If I had spent a month on research I probably still could not have covered every major domestic violence organization out there, but I have listed the ones I felt were most deserving of the free marketing. In a future post I will be covering a different set of domestic violence resources, to establish the ease with which these resources are available to the public.

Although I have chosen to not use any of these resources other than research, that’s not to say I haven’t been deeply affected by my experiences. The most obvious effect I have had to deal with due to the emotional abuse and psychological mind games imposed on me for so many years, has been my general emotional well-being. I absolutely hate conflict, so emotional abuse continues to traumatize. I do at times experience pretty horrific and unbearable depression, and I suffer with debilitating anxiety, especially in social situations, and the past six or so years I have increasingly preferred being home, and sometimes, home all by myself. As I continue my quest for enlightenment, I am able to name some major mental issues I have which I know came from emotional abuse. Very recently a friend pointed out the defense mechanisms I show to cope with my abuse. You know what I am most looking forward to about being free from abuse?

I am looking so forward to being able to enjoy my late afternoon and evening without sitting there worrying about when my husband will be home or become a wreck once he does get home. I am looking forward to living without fear. What about you? What do you most look forward to when you ponder freedom from an abusive situation? I ask that you comment and share your thoughts with me and I will include them, anonymously without a doubt, on a post in the very near future.

Thank you for reading and I truly hope I was able to adequately give you necessary and essential resources so you or someone you love can free themselves from a violent and unhealthy environment, an environment reeking of domestic violence.

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