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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.

Geneva family law attorneyOctober is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is defined as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” Domestic violence not only includes physical abuse like hitting, punching, kicking, and slapping but also psychological abuse. Psychological abuse or emotional abuse can include behaviors such threatening, controlling, isolating, mocking, stalking, and intimidating a partner.

Domestic Violence Can Happen to Anyone

Domestic violence affects people of all genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities and socioeconomic statuses. Often, when one imagines a victim of domestic violence, a woman comes to mind.  However, men are almost as likely to be victims of violence at the hand of a partner as women are.  On average, one out of every three women and one out of every four men are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.

false allegations, domestic abuse, Geneva family law attorneyThere is absolutely no question that domestic violence continues to be a major problem in today’s American society. In fact, there are a number of studies that suggest that the issue may be even more serious than previously acknowledged, including severely underreported cases involving male domestic abuse victims. The physical, psychological, and emotional damage caused by violence against an intimate partner or family member can rise to tragic levels, often requiring years of recovery if and when a victim can escape an abusive situation. It is for exactly these reasons that intentionally false allegations of domestic violence are so disturbing, and such allegations can substantially affect the outcome of family-related legal concerns.

Impact to the Falsely Accused

Under Illinois law, an emergency order of protection can be issued by a judge based solely on the testimony of a victim. In a situation where actual violence or the threat of violence, this is entirely necessary. However, when a parent or spouse brings false allegations of violence before the court, an emergency order of protection can affect a completely innocent person. Depending upon the details included in the claim, the order can potentially prevent the accused from remaining in his or her home, seeing his or her children, or even going about the normal business of daily living. An emergency order of protection can remain in effect for up to 30 days, or until a re-hearing on the matter can be scheduled, whichever comes first.

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