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All Press Releases for January 08, 2014 »
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Domestic violence deaths went up in North Carolina in 2012

According to the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, approximately 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.
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    January 08, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Getting a divorce can be difficult for many people seeking to end an unhappy marriage, but it's especially hard for victims of domestic violence. When a victim attempts to escape an abusive relationship, the abuser can make the situation dangerous. According to WRAL, domestic violence fatalities increased in North Carolina last year. When planning to divorce an abusive spouse, it's crucial to take careful steps and get the right kind of help in order to get out safely.

According to the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, approximately 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women. Children are also at risk from abusers, both physically and emotionally, as the way they are raised affects who they become as adults. Girls who were exposed to abuse usually become victims of abuse after growing up, while boys often become abusers.

Recognizing the signs of abuse

It's often difficult to realize what type of behavior is abusive, since emotional abuse can be even more confusing and frightening than physical violence, says HelpGuide. This behavior often starts out with small incidents and increases over time. Abusers will use increasing methods of intimidation and fear to control their victims. These methods can include isolating the victim from loved ones, threatening or hurting children or animals, showing extreme jealousy and projecting the blame onto their victims. People who are being abused may believe - wrongly - that they are unintentionally doing things to upset the other person.

One in four women will become victims of domestic violence, says SafeHorizon. When attempting to escape an abusive relationship, the following steps should be taken:
- Store important documents, emergency money, clothing and belongings in a safe place, such as with a trusted friend or family member.
- Create an escape plan to safely get away.
- Memorize the phone numbers, websites and locations of women's shelters, hotlines and police stations.
- Take pictures of injuries and document every instance of abuse.

When planning to get out, a protective order can help protect victims legally and give them time to take further steps to protect themselves and their children. Shelters and domestic violence centers can help walk victims through these steps, as well as help with emergency housing and support groups.

How an attorney can help

A bill that's currently moving through our state's General Assembly would require couples to undergo a two-year waiting period before getting a divorce, during which they would have to live under the same roof while having counseling on communication skills and conflict resolution. Victims' advocates say that this bill would put women and children in greater danger from their abusers. It remains to be seen whether this bill passes and the effects it would have on domestic violence victims.

Domestic abuse victims considering a divorce should contact an experienced divorce attorney right away. An attorney can help them take the steps to protect themselves during this difficult and frightening time.

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