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Leaving An Abusive Relationship

A 2011 report on domestic violence in New Jersey reported that women comprise just over three-fourths of all domestic violence victims. A Hazlet nonprofit agency, 180 Turning Lives Around, is working to end abuse. They further indicated that about 25 percent of all women are the victims of such violence at some point in time.

Further indications are that anyone can be a domestic violence abuser, no matter their age, occupation, social status or economic situation. One woman who became a victim was a stay-at-home mom, and her husband had a well-paying, white-collar job. He promised to go to counseling, but exhibited typical behaviors of an abuser and did not follow through.

An executive with the North Brunswick Domestic Violence Response Team explained that abusers use control to keep victims feeling trapped. While some parties go through a ‘honeymoon phase” when all is roses, that didn’t happen in this case. Even when he allegedly broke his now-ex-wife’s nose, he wouldn’t call for help and shifted responsibility to her shoulders. She felt the control he had over her and feared for the life of herself and her daughters. Although she talked about leaving, too many factors tied her there: no job, minimal resources and little contact with family and friends.

The husband of another woman in an abusive relationship took her car. He was so abusive to her children from a prior relationship that she turned over custody to their dad. Shelters like 180 offer housing and a way to escape the cycle of abuse. However, the executive reports that the risk of being killed increases by 75 percent when a woman leaves.

Some divorces are due to domestic violence. A family attorney might be able to help clients with legal documents as they try to escape an abusive relationship.

Source: North & South Brunswick Sentinel, “Domestic violence has no boundaries“, Jessica D’Amico, February 06, 2014