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Community college tires to raise domestic abuse awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and one Maryland community college is playing its part. A local event related to the national Clothesline Project seeks to raise awareness of domestic violence issues by having individuals wear T-shirts with messages which are later hung in public spaces. The community college's officials cited statistics gathered by IMA World Health showing one in three women and one in four men will experience gender abuse, stalking, or sexual assault by a close partner as a reason why raising awareness is so important. Students of both genders took part in the project, which they hope will show that domestic violence can affect anybody.

While October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Maryland residents should be aware of this issue at all times. A violent person, whether a spouse, sibling, child, or neighbor, can cause an explosive argument that in turn creates extreme fear and, when the dilemma turns physical, injuries or death. When this situation arises and an individual is in fear of imminent harm he or she should call 911 immediately to obtain the swiftest protection possible.

Then, the victim can seek a temporary protective order. These orders can be obtained at any time, on any day, and last for seven days. Within one week of being granted a temporary protective order, the filer will have a hearing where a judge will decide whether to grant a final protection order. If one is granted, then the alleged abuser can no longer have contact with the complainant. The alleged abuser may also be placed outside of the home and child custody arrangements may be made to protect any children in harm's way.

Domestic violence is very serious and should be stopped immediately and permanently. An attorney with experience handling domestic abuse cases can help a victim obtain the protection he or she needs and can discuss how a protection order can affect other issues. Many of these issues arise when the victim chooses to file for divorce and can include child custody, spousal support, and marital property division. Having a caring, compassionate attorney on his or her side, a domestic abuse victim can hopefully move on with life without fear.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Community college project aims to shed colorful light on domestic violence," Joe Burris, Oct. 17, 2013

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