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How do I get Domestic Violence Help?

Domestic violence can refer to physical, emotional, and mental abuse afflicted by members of a person's household on one another. The most common scenario involves a husband or father inflicting harm on his spouse or children, though any family member can be a victim or an offender. Most cases of abuse are not isolated; rather, incidents happen time and time again if domestic violence help is not sought. There are many different resources available for domestic violence help and prevention, including restraining orders, protective custody arrangements, shelters for battered family members, marriage and family counseling, and group therapy.

A family member who has suffered abuse should call the local police or an emergency response number immediately. Police can provide direct, urgent domestic violence help by gathering the facts about an incident, removing the abuser from the situation, calling for medical services when necessary, and initiating a plan to protect victims from future attacks. Individuals can ask police for assistance with filing temporary restraining orders that prevent abusers from making contact with them. When domestic violence cases go to trial, judges often assign jail time or stricter restraining orders to criminals to further help protect a family.

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Children who have been abused may be taken into protective custody by organizations within a state or federal government. Judges must determine whether or not to release the children to one or both parents based on history, a critical examination of their health and safety, and the results of criminal proceedings involving the parents. Some children are placed in temporary or permanent foster homes to protect them from future instances of abuse.

Men and women who have been battered or emotionally abused by their spouses may be able to find haven in community shelters. Many nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups provide domestic violence help in the form of guarded housing, medical attention, counseling, and job assistance. Abused individuals are given the opportunity to recuperate in a safe environment, learn strategies on how to avoid dangerous situations, find and maintain employment, and take care of their children. Victims are able to regain control over their lives so they may learn to live independently and free from harm.

Many people seek domestic violence help from specially trained counselors and support groups. Family and marriage counselors can help individuals learn to communicate better and avoid violent tendencies. When alcoholism or mental illness is suspected to be an underlying cause of violent behavior, a psychologist can recommend treatment at an inpatient or outpatient facility. Individuals who attend group therapy have the opportunity to discuss their experiences and hopes with other victims so that they may help each other get through troubled times.

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