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Kane County divorce lawyersDomestic violence is shockingly common in the United States. Although many experiencing the torture of familial abuse do not show it on the outside, they are secretly suffering. If you have decided to end your marriage due to your spouse’s abusive or intimidating behavior, first take a moment to congratulate yourself. You have started a journey that will certainly be challenging, but will ultimately lead to greater safety for you and your family. Leaving an abusive spouse may feel overwhelming, but keep in mind that you do not have to do it alone.

The Worst Thing You Can Do Is Stay Silent

One of the most difficult things about leaving an abusive partner is actually acknowledging the abuse. Many people feel ashamed to admit that they need help leaving a violent spouse—even though the shame should be felt by the abuser. Those affected by domestic violence sometimes still love and care for their abuser and therefore delay involving authorities because they worry about how it will hurt the abuser or his or her career. Other victims of domestic violence simply do not understand that there are avenues to safety which they can take even with no actual evidence of the abuse.

Kane County family law attorneyMost parents would do absolutely anything to keep their children safe and happy. Thus, when there is a suspicion of abuse, parents and authorities typically act quickly to address the concerns. This can get especially tricky in divorce cases, however. Sometimes abuse allegations have merit, and sometimes they are used as weapons by an estranged or bitter ex-spouse. It is important to know how to handle both situations.

The Law on Abuse and Neglect

The statutory definition of child abuse in Illinois is somewhat complex, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Essentially, an abused child is one who has been the victim of any act that either causes or intends to cause severe physical, emotional, sexual or mental harm. If a mother grabs her son’s arm to pull him out of traffic and gives him bruises, such conduct is likely not abusive, but if she dislocates his shoulder while trying to get his attention in a supermarket, it may be considered abuse.

Kane County family law attorneysOver the last few years, more and more public attention has been given to concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and related chronic conditions. Many such stories have been prompted by tragedies among professional and amateur athletes, as well as those who serve or have served in the armed forces. There is, however, another group of victims who suffer from traumatic brain injuries but who are often overlooked by the media. This group may, in fact, even suffer TBIs at a higher rate than professional football players, yet you probably seem some these individuals every day. They are victims of domestic violence, and their injuries may be more serious than many people realize.

Understanding Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries occur when there is some kind of blow to the head. A TBI can range from mild—with symptoms such as momentary loss of consciousness—to severe—with symptoms including an extended loss of consciousness and amnesia. In addition, these types of injuries can have an effect on a victim’s emotional, language, sensory, and thinking abilities. Other symptoms of TBI include aggression, decreased motor function, depression, double vision, headaches, imbalance, irritability, and issues with memory, learning, and planning.   

Geneva domestic violence attorneyLawmakers in Mississippi raised controversy last month when legislation that would have amended the state’s divorce laws died in a House committee. The bill would have added domestic violence to list of reasons that a person can seek a divorce in the state, bringing the total number of grounds to 13. Advocates for victims of domestic abuse say the failure of the measure is another blow to those who are suffering in their marriages and see no way to escape.

“Habitual Cruel and Inhuman Treatment”

Legal experts and commentators generally agree that Mississippi is one the most difficult states in which to obtain a divorce. A married person currently may seek to end his or her marriage one of dozen grounds, including drunkenness, adultery, impotence, and “habitual cruel and inhuman treatment.” While some have argued that domestic violence would fall under the category of cruel and inhuman treatment, the state requires proof that behavior is ongoing and habitual. Some forms of physical abuse could be proven in this way, but others—such as emotional or psychological abuse—are much more difficult to prove in a divorce proceeding.

paddle-bdsm-50-shades.jpgAuthor EL James was relatively unknown until 2011 when her book, 50 Shades of Grey, became a best-seller almost overnight. Since this initial spike in popularity, her trilogy has been turned into two movies. The second movie in the trilogy, 50 Shades Darker, was released about a week ago. Countless people purchased tickets to the film in advance and were excited to watch it. Others, however, vehemently decry the entire 50 Shades franchise as the glorification of domestic violence.

Promoting Domestic Violence?

Critics of the series claim that many of the main character’s behaviors are abusive and send a dangerous message to women. For example, the main character, Christian Grey, often threatens and intimidates his love interest, Ana, throughout the series. When Ana mentions leaving him, he replies "I would find you. I can track your cell phone, remember?" Ana also expresses fear of Christian many times. "He'd probably like to beat seven shades of (expletive) out of me…” Another part of the book that disturbs critics depicts Christian verbally berating Ana. When Ana confesses that she is pregnant with Christian’s child, he responds with anger and violence.

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