Summary in Divorce
According to the National Institute of Justice, 95 percent of the victims of domestic abuse are women and 95 percent of the perpetrators are men, and children who live in a home where the man batters or abuses the women are themselves 15 times more likely to be abused.
Very often, even when the man and woman are separated, perpetrators continue to attempt to maintain their pattern of coercive control over the abused party and his or her children, and courts consider domestic violence in awarding custody. Many states have legislative policies encouraging joint custody, including what is called the "friendly parent" provision aimed at encouraging the maintenance of a meaningful relationship between parents and child after divorce. Yet joint custody becomes very problematic when abuse is present. The Violence Against Women Acts of 1996 and 2000 created the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Women in troubled domestic situations can call for help and the location of safe houses on this hotline. The number is 800-799-7233.
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