Many of us have a friend or loved one who has suffered domestic violence at the hands of a spouse or partner. In many cases, loved ones and family members did not know about the domestic violence until prosecutors charged the abuser. Many women hide domestic violence so well for so long, that people almost do not believe them when the domestic violence charges come out. Domestic violence is often called private violence because so many victims hide the violence for years, or even for decades. In many cases, women do not divorce their violent husbands until their husbands are charged with domestic violence.
Why Doesn’t She Just Leave Him?
“Why didn’t you just leave?” is a common and often hurtful question that well-meaning friends and family ask. People who have not experienced domestic violence first hand probably do not understand the shame involved in being a victim. Many domestic violence victims do try to leave abusive situations by doing the following:
- Using extreme vigilance
- Hiding injuries caused by domestic violence
- Secretly stashing away money to try to escape
- Moving step-by-step try to escape their situation
Domestic Violence is Usually Hidden Abuse
Some leading experts have argued that America’s broken legal system and cultural beliefs about families pressure women into staying in abusive relationships. Cultural and religious influence can lead women to think that divorce is unthinkable. Prior to the 1960s, many marital domestic violence cases did not make it into the courtroom. When they did, many courts ruled in favor of the man when the abused wife did not have any permanent injuries. These cultural attitudes take time to overcome, but have changed significantly in the past 50 years. Today, courtrooms are more sympathetic towards the abused victim.
Domestic Violence is Incredibly Common and is Often Hidden
Many times nobody even knows that a woman has suffered physical domestic violence until the police arrest and charge the abusive spouse. Domestic violence is much more common than most people think. It is impossible to find reliable data on the prevalence of domestic violence because so much domestic violence is not reported and remains hidden for decades.
Many cases will often go unrecognized by the public. Statistics show that one out of every three women has experienced an abusive relationship. Additionally one out of every five women has faced severe physical domestic violence. Every year, domestic violence hotlines receive over 200,000 phone calls.
Filing for Divorce After Domestic Violence Charges
Many times, domestic violence victims will not file for divorce until their abuser is arrested and a prosecutor brings charges for domestic violence. If you are considering filing for divorce after suffering domestic violence, the attorneys at Glasgow & Olsson can help. Our lawyers understand how difficult it is to recover from a history of domestic violence. We know that the issues are sensitive. We are compassionate and empathetic to our clients while at the same time, fighting aggressively for them. Contact our Cook County family law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.