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Online tool seeks to raise awareness of and prevent abuse

Domestic abuse occurs in many homes across the country. Unfortunately, many abusers may be unaware they are abusing another in the residence. When this happens, an abuse victim may be left feeling helpless and in a dangerous situation.

As a result, a pilot program that originated in Florida but has now spread through the Southeast is seeking to help law enforcement officers identify whether or not they are committing domestic violence or abuse. The online tool kit asks a serious of questions that help gauge an individual's personality and behaviors and determine their propensity towards violent behavior. Then, if the officer answers yes to any of the questions, he may be encouraged to seek a counselor. Additionally, the program helps law enforcement officers find ways to deal with stress, anxiety and depression. Researchers hope the program will raise awareness and prevent domestic violence before it occurs.

While this program may be beneficial, it fails to grant those facing domestic violence the immediate protection they deserve. Thus, an individual being abused at home should seek immediate legal help. An individual can swiftly file a Temporary Protective Order, which grants immediate relief for seven days. Then, within one week of the Temporary Protective Order's grant a court will hear the case in order to determine if a final protective order is appropriate. Obtaining a final protection order will help ensure an individual's safety and put her mind at ease.

Additionally, domestic violence may have an effect on issues of child custody and visitation. For example, if the abuse leads to a divorce, a judge may take allegations of domestic violence extremely serious. Therefore, if an individual has been abused or has been accused of domestic abuse and is going through a divorce, she should promptly seek legal advice from an experienced Maryland attorney.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Online tool kit aimed at preventing domestic violence in law-enforcement community," Amy Pavuk, Jul. 27, 2013

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