Domestic Violence Laws And How They Can Help You

Updated January 5, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Domestic violence is a terrible problem that plagues society, despite the existence of domestic violence laws. Sometimes people wind up hurting others simply because they can. When you are the victim of domestic violence, it can feel like someone is taking your very humanity away from you. There are several forms of domestic violence, and each is traumatizing in its own way.

The most common form of domestic violence people may be familiar with is physical abuse. An example of this would be a husband who beats his wife. Individuals who engage in violence against their partners need to try to hold power over someone by impressing their physical dominance upon them. Women who are beaten by their husbands or boyfriends may experience emotional issues and doubt their own sense of judgement.

Domestic Abuse Recovery Takes Time

Domestic Violence Is Not The Victim's Fault 

It can be very tough to cope with being beaten by someone that you once loved or that you currently love. Sometimes it can create feelings of confusion because you don't understand why a person that you trusted would do this to you. There are even abuse victims who try to hide the abuse because they still care about their significant other. 

It's important to point out that male abuse victims exist, even though you may hear more about female victims. Some women physically abuse their husbands, and there are also gay men who are the victims of domestic abuse. Whatever the situation is, it is important to realize that the victim is never to blame. Abuse is not the victim's fault.

Sometimes other types of domestic abuse happen as well. Domestic violence may lead to extreme emotional abuse, and it can sometimes degrade into sexual abuse. It should also be noted that domestic abuse can refer to child abuse and elder abuse too. The term doesn't just refer to abuse between romantic partners.

No matter what type of abuse is occurring, laws against domestic violence may come to your aid. These situations are horrible, but it's possible to make it out of a relationship like this. There are domestic violence laws that are designed to help you to get away from your abuser and move on with your life. You just need to alert the proper authorities so that actions can be taken to resolve the situation.

Understanding Federal Domestic Violence Laws

Congress passed an act known as the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. Violence against women is a national crime that is punishable by a variety of different penalties.

Depending on the situation, the person being accused of domestic violence may face jail time. It is also possible that they may face fines, be tasked with community service, be made to attend anger management courses, and they can even have their parental rights terminated. A lot of this will be determined by how severe the domestic violence charges against them are. The penalties for domestic violence can differ from state to state, but federal laws are consistent.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, then that means that someone has committed a severe crime against you. You have rights, and your abuser should be punished for their crimes. The severity of the punishment may differ from case to case, but abusers should know that the consequences can be severe. Domestic violence charges are considered felonies and are treated very seriously.

Domestic Violence Gun Laws

There are gun laws associated with domestic violence as well. Domestic violence is a serious enough problem that Congress had to pass laws against gun ownership for people who have been convicted of these charges. If someone has been convicted of a domestic violence crime, then it is a federal crime for them to possess a firearm or ammunition. This is supposed to prevent known abusers from inflicting deadly harm upon their victims, as they are no longer viewed as potential responsible gun owners.

If you know that someone who has been convicted of domestic violence is in possession of a firearm or ammunition, then you should alert the authorities. This is a crime that needs to be taken seriously. It is against the law for them to own a firearm, and the gun needs to be taken from them immediately. 

You Have Rights

If you are currently in a relationship that is abusive, then you should reach out to the proper authorities. You have rights and should be treated with respect and dignity. The laws are very clear about how wrong it is for people to abuse others physically. Acts such as stalking are also considered to be domestic violence, so you should make contact with police if you feel like you are in danger.

As previously stated, violence against children and the elderly also fall under the banner of domestic violence. If you have a spouse or partner who is abusive to your children, then you need to be strong enough to call the authorities. Your children rely on you to keep them safe, so it's important to make the right decision that will allow them to lead happy lives.

Elder abuse is also far too common in modern society. The elderly may not be in a position to properly defend themselves, and it can be easy for abusers to take advantage of this. Individuals may decide to physically abuse their elderly parents or other elderly individuals in some way. The authorities will take these matters very seriously and will endeavor to ensure that the offending party is properly punished for this reprehensible crime.

Seeking Help Is Important

Domestic Abuse Recovery Takes Time

Even if you have already moved away from your abuser, it can still be tough to cope with what has happened. Being abused in any fashion is a traumatic experience. If you have been browbeaten significantly, then it can be tough to trust anyone else moving forward. You may feel like the domestic violence that you have suffered has ruined your chances at a normal life, and this can lead to severe depression.

It is normal to have these thoughts, but you don't have to remain in this state. If you feel like you need help, consider reaching out to professionals who can assist you. Counselors and therapists can help you to talk about your experiences and work through many issues. Simply having someone to talk to who cares about your well-being can be very cathartic.

After a horrible experience like this, you may feel a lot of anxiety. If your anxiety prevents you from wanting to leave your home or talk to strangers, then getting therapy may seem like it is out of the question. It doesn't have to be this way, though. Online counseling may prove to be very beneficial. With this type of therapy, you can chat with a therapist from the safety of your own home at a time convenient to your schedule.

Online therapy has been shown to be quite successful for helping individuals deal with all types of trauma, including domestic abuse. Cognitive behavior therapy can offer the opportunity to discuss your experiences and work through them to move on to happier days.

Consider signing up over at BetterHelp to get things started. They have many different counselors who have experience in helping victims of domestic violence to move on with their lives. These compassionate professionals will speak with you and allow you to open up at your own pace. As you begin to feel better, you may start taking their advice about techniques you can use to feel more positive about your situation.

Simply having friends can be very helpful as well. If you don't want to reach out to counselors or therapists at this time, then doing your best to surround yourself with loving people in your life may be a good alternative. Let your family or your close friends give you a shoulder to lean on from time to time. You aren't alone in this struggle, and you can get assistance whether it is from professionals or familiar faces.

Moving On With Your Life

Moving on with your life may feel difficult at first, but you can find the power within yourself to leave the domestic abuse in the past. Therapy may be the key to releasing the anguish you feel over the period of time in which you were abused. It may not be easy to discover what the next chapter of your life is going to be, but you should be proud of yourself for making it this far. You have the chance to define your life moving forward, and the domestic abuse that you have suffered will no longer control you.

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