25 Remarkable Domestic Violence Facts

Domestic violence is an issue in many marriages and relationships across the country, women and men who suffer from this cycle of abuse oftentimes are so committed to that cycle that they never seek support until it has become so visible to others that they can no longer deny it. Here are some remarkable facts about this disease:

1. Statistics about domestic violence, spousal abuse and intimate partner abuse currently come from only two sources-agency and survey data-this makes data on domestic violence difficult to interpret because most of the data comes from volunteered information.

2. A recent study found that 50% of spousal violence was two-way-both partners were showing aggression.

3. Drug addicts are responsible for 75% of reported cases.

4. Until 1984, standard police advice when responding to a domestic violence call was to advise the male partner to “walk around the block and cool off.”

5. Children often bear the brunt of spousal abuse, and not just emotionally-over half of spousal abusers abuse their children as well.

6. Spousal abuse is hereditary-it’s a practice that commonly goes from one generation to the next.

7. Lower income families are susceptible to increased levels of spousal abuse, but abuse occurs in families of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

8. Most all abusers feel guilt. They fear being caught.

9. In some cities there were once laws that allowed men to hit their wives before dark-spousal abuse is deeply rooted in culture.

10. One of the leading causes of homelessness is fear of violence caused by a partner.

11. Based on reported data, domestic violence claims the life of two women per week on average.

12. As it turns out, deaths of men due to partner violence occur at the same rate as deaths of women.

13. Nearly two thirds of all murders carried out by boys between the ages of 11 to 20 are intended to protect their mother from an abuser.

14. Men are often afraid to report being a victim of abuse.

15. There are more animal shelters in the United States than shelters for battered women.

16. Drug abuse or alcohol abuse and domestic abuse are separate conditions. Ending drug addiction will not stop a person from demonstrating abusive characteristics.

17. Many assaults are planned. They are not sudden bursts of violence.

18. According to the Domestic Violence Source Book, home violence killed as many women in the 1990s every five years as the total of American deaths in the Vietnam war.

19. Around one third of all reported incidents involving domestic violence include weapons.

20. Around 80% of all prisoners in the state of Ohio come from families where domestic violence was present.

21. One quarter of all divorces in middle-class families are due to spousal abuse or domestic violence.

22. Abuse during pregnancy often results in women having babies with birth defects or a miscarriage.

23. Locally, law enforcement agencies do not have to keep data on victim/offender

relationships that involve violence. They are only required to track this information if it is related to murder.

24. Research has shown that pets are affected by Domestic Violence too, just like humans are.

25. In 1984 the U.S. Attorney General recommended automatic arrest when police responded to calls about domestic violence.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse it is imperative that you seek help. This help could come in the form of an attorney or even a police officer. Violence always becomes progressive and eventually it will spiral to a point where someone is hospitalized or worse. Don’t let that happen to you.

Legal Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence

Violence against women is a centuries old phenomenon. The violence may be of different forms, like child marriage, witch hunting, honor killing etc. It is due to defiance of the stereotyped role model of daughter, sister, wife and mother and of course daughter-in-law. Domestic Violence has been justified throughout the ages; legal and cultural traditions have granted men permission to beat their wives and even to kill them with intend to subordinate women. Although efforts had been made to electrify the image of women by associating her with Goddess Durga. Yet, it is ironical that India became patriarchal or male- oriented society. Causes of domestic violence may be many like alcohol and drug related, dowry related, frustration due to unemployment and financial constraints. Women also continue in violence relationship due to economic dependence upon men, family and social pressure to keep the family intact and preserve the marriage, lack of parental support absence of faith in the law and fear of losing custody of children.

In the modern age, voices have been raised against these inhuman practices and efforts made to bring about change by creating awareness, by educating people through legal actions. It was Raja Ram Mohan Roy who led the movement for women’s rights. He was responsible to bring social changes like stopping child marriage, sati and legitimization of widow remarriage. Though the term domestic violence was not in vogue in those reforms, their aim was to make women’s lives more humane and protected.

Laws available to women against domestic violence: Till 1983, there were no specific law pertaining to violence. Husbands could be convicted for murder, abetment to suicide, causing hurt and wrongful confinement. In section 304 of IPC, where the death of a woman is caused by burns or bodily injuries or occurs due to reasons other than normal circumstances within 7 years of her marriage and if it is find that the wife is subjected to cruelty by her husband or his relatives, the death is termed as DOWRY DEATH. Section 313-316 IPC. says that forcing a wife to terminate her pregnancy also forms domestic violence. Section 306 is available to punish relatives for abetment of suicide. The Dowry Prohibition Act 1986, also available as putting ban on the practice of dowry. Throwing acid has been made punishable under the amendmets of IPC.

Newly formed Law for protection of women; In 1992, lawyers collectively drafted and circulated a Bill on domestic violence. It was widely circulated among women’s groups including the National Commission for women, but by this time, most of women’s groups wanted a law on domestic violence. Drafted in accordance with the UN framework, this Bill had the great support of the women. Thus, Indian Government introduced a Bill on domestic violence in Lok Sabha titled as ‘The protection of women from Domestic Violence Bill 2001’. Great deliberations were going on and great need was felt to such legislation in effect. The Act was passed by Parliament and assented to by the President. It was named as ‘The Protection Of Women Against Domestic Violence Act 2006″. It was the first significant attempt to recognize domestic abuse as a punishable offence to extend its provisions to those in live in relationships, and to provide for emergency relief for the victim.

Section 2 provides protection against act, conduct, omission and commission that harms or has the potential to harm, will be considered as ‘Domestic Violence’. This legislation has widened the scope of domestic violence and now it can be broadly related to human rights. The definition contains physical, mental, economical and sexual violence suffered by large section of women and entitles them to claim protection from the courts. Section 494 of IPC has been proved insufficient for women protection, hence this Act was enacted for effective protection of rights of women guaranteed by Constitution i. e. Equality. Definition of ‘AGGRIEVED PERSON’ is equally wide which not only covers the legally wedded wife but also woman who is the sexual partner of the male, the daughter, mother, sister, child widow or any women residing in the house of the respondent.

Relationship in the nature of marriage provides remedy to those women whose marriages may be void or invalid in the eyes of law and protection of women who are live- in-relationships. In Aruna Parmod Shah v. UOI long periods of cohabitation between a men and women raise a presumption of marriage.

The concept of shared household means a household where the aggrieved person lives or had lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with respondent and includes a household owned or rented. Granting supremacy to the rights of residence of women, the Delhi High Court held that a woman can never be charged with trespass if she insists on staying with her husband in a house taken or rented by the husband. Supreme Court judgement on SR Batra V. Taruna Batra constitutes rights of a wife to live in husband’s house. This is most important judgement since even today there is lot of misunderstandings about rights of women on their husbands/in-laws property/house. It was held right is available to a woman only against her husband and not against in-laws. Mother-in-laws house does not become shared house. It only meant house owned or rented by husband only.

There are various reliefs that be granted under this ACT. The magistrate if satisfied that the domestic violence has taken place, can pass the protection order in favor of the aggrieved person and prohibit the respondent from committing any violence. Such order would be in operation till the aggrieved person applies for discharge and the order can also be altered, modified and revoked. One of the most important feature of the Act is that women’s right to secure housing. This right is secured by a residence order passed by court. The Act provides that if an abused woman requires, she has to be provided an alternate accommodation and her maintenance has to be paid by her husband or partner.

The right of a divorced woman to residence in the shared house would depend on the terms and conditions of the divorce order as held in B. R. Achala V. S appi Reddy and Ors.

Under section 20, a woman can claim maintenance or monetary relief to meet the expenses incurred. It may include loss of earnings, medical expenses and loss of property. Such relief should be adequate, fair and reasonable and according to the standard of living. She can claim the compensation for the injuries including mental torture and emotional distress caused by violent acts. In Rajsesh kurre V. Safurabhai and Ors. the court is competent to award maintenance to the aggrieved person and child of that person according to section 20. And they do not require to establish the case under section 125 of CRPC. Section 21, provides the magistrate can give the custody of the child /children to the aggrieved person and if necessary make arrangements for visit of such child/children by the respondent.

A woman has the right to the services and assistance of the protection officer and service providers arranged under the provisions of the law. She will have the right to the services of the police, shelter homes and medical establishments. She also has the right to file her complaint under section 494 of IPC along with this Act.

An application under section 12 can be filed before the Magistrate directly. An application can be filed by any aggrieved person and against the adult male against whom the aggrieved has sought relief. There is an exception that an aggrieved wife or female living in relationships in the nature of marriage can file a complaint against a relative of the husband or partner. The Act is controversial on the point whether a female can be made respondent or not. The Supreme Court in Sandhya Manoj Wankade V. Manoj Bhimrao Wankade held that female relative can also be made respondent. An application can be filed in the Court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class or the Metropplitan Magistrate within the local limits of which, the aggrieved person resides or carries on business, the respondent resides or carries on business or the cause of action has arisen. A Domestic Incident Report (DIR) should be made in the prescribed from on the receipt of domestic violence from an aggrieved person. The Magistrate takes into consideration that report while coming to an conclusion. In Ajay kamal V. Alka Sharma High Court of MP held that if the DIR is not made, it cannot quash the proceedings, hence the DIR is not compulsory. The application should be in prescribed form but the application cannot be thrown out if it is not in the prescribed format as in Milan Kumar Singh V. State of U. P.

A notice to the respondent is served after the filing of the application through the Protection Officer. The Magistrate can pass an interim order to prevent further violence by providing the immediate relief to the woman. He can also pass the exparte order if the Magistrate satisfies that domestic violence may be committed. An appeal shall lie to the Court Of Session within 30 days from the date of the order of the Magistrate. He may also at any stage may secure the services of the persons engaged in promoting family welfare for the purpose of assisting him in discharging his functions. The orders under this Act are to be enforced in the same manner as in section 125 of CRPC. The court can direct the Protection Officer to assist in the implementation of the order. A breach of protection order or of an interim order by the respondent shall be an offence. It impose penalty upto one year imprisonment or fine of Rs. 20, 000, or both. This offence is congnizable and non- bailable.

Section 32(2) provides that upon the sole testimony of the aggrieved person, the court may conclude that the offence has been committed. The Act ensures speedy justice as the court has to start the proceedings and have the first hearing within 3 days of the complaint. The Act also provides for the penalty for not discharging duty of protection officer.

Till 2005, remedies available for the victims of domestic violence in the civil court and criminal court were limited. There were no emergency reliefs available to the victims and relationships outside marriage were not recognized.

Critical appraisal of the Act: Though Act widens the concept of Domestic Violence but it does not include ‘forced sex’ or ‘ sex without the wife’s consent’. This Act had been adopted from US Act where there are nuclear families. Woman’s right to demand accommodation only in husband’s house is wrong. There is no provision if a female files a false against the males as females can’t be made respondents according to this act. It is always not the fault of men if there is distressed marriage. No where is mentioned the violence against mother-in-law, they can be the victims of violence in the hands of daughter-in-laws. Further the provision of divorce also not been here. The Act relieved the women to a wide extend but should be improved in various context.



Penalties For Domestic Violence in Wisconsin

Laws governing domestic violence are mostly on a state level. This means that the definitions of and penalties for this crime can vary greatly depending on the state you are in. Here’s a quick overview of Wisconsin’s laws in this area:


Defining domestic abuse is not as straightforward as you might think. In some states, the abuser must be a spouse or other family member of the victim, or live in the same home. Some states only consider physical violence, while others use more broad definitions. In Wisconsin, domestic violence can occur between an adult and

  • 1) Another adult member of the same household
  • 2) An adult in the abuser’s care
  • 3) His or her former spouse
  • 4) An adult which he or she is dating or has dated
  • 5) An adult with whom he or she shares a child

Behavior that legally qualifies as violence includes

  • 1) Intentional infliction of injury or illness
  • 2) Intentional infliction of physical impairment
  • 3) Destruction of an individual’s property
  • 4) Threatening to do any of the above

There are both civil and criminal penalties for abusers, depending on how the victim and the police decide to manage the case.

Civil Penalties

The abused party may request a Protection Order from a judge. If this is granted, the abuser will be forbidden to enter the abused person’s home or directly contact them. A protection order by itself is not a conviction. It is not issued by a criminal law. However, if a person violates a protection order that has been placed on them, they have committed a state crime. They will either be prosecuted through the civil system for contempt of court, or through the criminal system for violation of a protection order.

This is not common, but the abused party does have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against his or her attacker. This is not necessarily an attempt to seek revenge. A survivor of abuse may be facing medical bills or other expenses caused by their abuser and want compensation. Very few survivors go this route, however, as they usually want to cut off contact with their abuser permanently.

Criminal Penalties

Some states do not have a specific law against domestic violent. Instead, abusive partners are charged with assault, battery, sexual assault or other related crimes. In Wisconsin, however, domestic violence is specifically illegal. We are also one of the states that do not require the victim to press charges in order for an abuser to be punished. If police have reason to believe that a person is being physically abused, they must arrest the alleged abuser. A person arrested for domestic violence must not contact their alleged victim for up to 72 hours after the arrest.

For more information about related legal matters, contact Appleton domestic violence defense attorneys Kohler, Hart & Priebe at 414-271-9595.

New York Domestic Violence Law: How to Get an Order of Protection in Family Court

Generally speaking, domestic violence refers to behavior that one person in an intimate relationship uses to control the other. Examples of such behavior include threats, name-calling, isolation, placing someone in fear of physical harm, stalking and sexual assault. The foregoing list of abusive behaviors is far from exhaustive. Each state has unique procedural and substantive rules to protect family members from domestic abuse.

New York’s substantive domestic violence law is set forth in various sections of the state’s Penal Law, Family Court Act, and Domestic Relations Law. These statutes provide several different procedural options for someone who needs to obtain judicial protection against an abusive family member. The broad and remedial purpose of the foregoing laws is to provide the maximum level of protection for victims of domestic violence. To further this goal, New York is a “mandatory arrest” jurisdiction. This means that the police are required to arrest suspects where there is “probable cause” to believe that the accused has committed, against a spouse, former spouse, family or household member, any felony, misdemeanor family offense, or violation of an order of protection requiring the defendant to stay away from the complainant.

Under New York’s Criminal Procedure Law, members of the same family or household (so as to fall under the protections of the family offense laws) include:

  1. persons related by consanguinity or affinity;
  2. persons legally married to one another;
  3. persons formerly married to one another regardless of whether they still reside in the same household;
  4. persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether such persons have been married or have lived together at any time; and
  5. persons who are not related by consanguinity or affinity and who are or have been in an intimate relationship regardless of whether such persons have lived together at any time.

In New York, domestic violence cases are most frequently brought in the Family Court under Article 8 of New York’s Family Court Act. Unlike criminal proceedings, Family Court Article 8 proceedings are generally intended to secure practical protections for victims (such as orders of protection directing offenders to stay away from victims), as opposed to criminal convictions. Court-ordered relief frequently includes orders requiring the offender to vacate a marital residence and cease contact with the petitioner. The Family Court may also order someone to participate in an educational program specifically tailored for perpetrators of domestic abuse.

To obtain an order of protection in New York Family Court, a petitioner must establish that a family offense has occurred. Family offenses include acts constituting disorderly conduct, harassment in the first degree, harassment in the second degree, aggravated harassment in the second degree, menacing in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, reckless endangerment, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, or an attempted assault between spouses and/or members of the same family or household. In the context of family offense proceedings, the definition of “disorderly conduct” is broader than in the criminal context, and may include conduct not in a public space. Under Penal Law 240.20, disorderly conduct includes conduct intended to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof. Examples of such conduct include tumultuous or threatening behavior, abusive or obscene language, unreasonable noise, or making an obscene gesture.

Generally, both the New York Supreme Court and the Family Court have jurisdiction to issue an Order of Protection. However, only the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to issue a divorce. Thus, individuals who do not have a marital relationship must seek judicial relief in either the Family Court or Criminal Court.

Occasionally, a spouse may bring an action seeking an Order of Protection in the Family Court, and then subsequently initiate divorce proceedings in the Supreme Court. In such instances, it may be appropriate to consolidate the existing actions. Section 240(3) of New York’s Domestic Relations Law (DRL) authorizes the Supreme Court to enter an order of protection in a matrimonial action.

Given the overlapping remedies and jurisdiction of New York’s Family and Supreme Courts, and the broad array of procedural options, selection of venue and other strategic decisions should be carefully considered and evaluated at the outset of order of protection proceedings with the advice and assistance of an experienced New York family law attorney. In addition to considerations regarding venue, a family law attorney will be able to guide the complainant about important issues regarding preservation of evidence. Frequently, proof of domestic violence hinges on preservation of key communications, such as text messages, voice mails, and emails. Ultimately, these communications will need to be introduced as evidence at trial. Giving careful consideration to strategic and evidentiary considerations at the earliest possible stage is crucial to obtaining a permanent order of protection against an abusive spouse or household member.

How Domestic Violence Allegations Can Affect Child Custody

It is indisputable that many lives across the country are torn apart by domestic violence. Domestic violence has a terrible and lasting impact on every life it touches, whether the affected person is a witness or victim of the abuse. In the past, domestic violence often was treated as a private matter to be handled discreetly within the family. However, society’s willingness to overlook abuse in the home has changed. With the change in societal attitude have come corresponding changes in the law.

The unfortunate consequence of passing tougher laws to protect victims of domestic violence has been a willingness among some people to take advantage of these laws and use them for their own gain. This has been particularly true in cases of divorce and child custody disputes.

Factors Affecting Child Custody in Illinois

In Illinois, the court will base its custody decision on the best interests of the child. Thus, the court will review the individual circumstances of the parents and child and determine what living and visitation arrangement will best meet and further the child’s, rather than the parents’, interests.

Although Illinois family courts have the authority to consider any relevant factor in determining what is in the best interests of the child, they generally look at the following eight factors before making a custody decision:

  • What are the parents’ wishes
  • What are the child’s wishes
  • What type of interactions and relationships does the child have with each parent, any siblings or other family members
  • How well adjusted is the child to his or her home, school and community
  • How is the mental and physical health of each parent and the child
  • Has there been any physical violence or the potential for violence in the home, whether the violence was directed at the child or another person
  • Are both parents willing and able to facilitate and encourage an ongoing relationship between the child and the other parent or is there animosity between the parents
  • Have there been any occurrences of ongoing abuse, whether directed at the child or another person

There is a presumption that it is in the child’s best interests to maintain as much contact and interaction as possible with both parents. However, this presumption is abandoned in cases where claims of domestic abuse and/or sexual abuse have been made against one of the parents. In these cases, it is presumed not to be in the child’s best interest to live with the accused parent. Depending on the extent of the abuse alleged, the parent also may not be granted visitation rights, or the visitation may have to be supervised.

False Allegations of Abuse

Regrettably, many parents have discovered that alleging their soon-to-be ex-spouses abused them or the children is a surefire way to influence custody decisions. The Illinois Domestic Abuse Act (IDAA) – a law that was meant to protect victims of abuse – unwittingly has become a powerful tool for parents seeking to get custody of their children through whatever means necessary.

Under the IDAA, domestic abuse is defined quite liberally as any “physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation.” While what constitutes physical abuse is more straightforward, the definitions of harassment, intimidation and interference with personal liberty are very subjective and open-ended, giving the court wide latitude to determine what is and is not domestic abuse under state law.

If a person successfully claims domestic abuse under the IDAA, he or she can receive a protection order against the alleged abuser. The protection order will entitle the accuser to sole occupation of the home, if they share a residence. Protection orders have been successfully used in custody hearings to deprive parents of not only physical custody of their children, but also visitation rights.

This is not to say that every allegation of abuse is false or fabricated. Certainly, there are parents and children who have suffered violence and sexual abuse in their homes.

However, this does not mean that every claim of domestic violence is legitimate or that there may not be an ulterior motive for making the claim. When people use false allegations of domestic violence as a tool to get what they want, it undermines the protections of the legal system and delegitimizes the valid claims of true victims of abuse. It also has the unacceptable consequence of stripping good, well-meaning parents of their rights to be involved as much as possible in their children’s lives.


There are ways to fight against false allegations of domestic violence and protect your rights to be involved in your child’s life. From attacking claims of abuse to bringing witnesses to testify on your behalf to raising questions about the true motivations for the allegations, a claim of domestic abuse does not have to be the end of your fight to get custody of your children. For more information, contact an attorney experienced in handling child custody and domestic violence matters.