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New survey details extent of domestic violence

A new study shows disturbing facts about domestic violence. According to a poll conducted by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, 22 percent of Americans have been a victim of domestic abuse. This number equates to an estimated 54 million Americans who report falling victim to domestic violence. Of that 54 million, the study estimates one out of every three women suffers from domestic violence. Also concerning, the survey found 57 percent of Americans have not discussed domestic or sexual abuse with their friends and only 58 percent of victims told someone about their abusive situation.

A domestic argument can explode into a violent episode in a matter of moments. When this happens, 9-1-1 should be called immediately. After that, the victim can consider other long-lasting legal options to obtain protection. A Temporary Protective Order can be sought at any time by going to the District or Circuit Court. Within seven days of obtaining a Temporary Protective Order, a hearing will be conducted to determine whether a permanent protection order should be put in place.

An attorney can help an individual seeking a protection order ensure, to the best of his ability, enough proof is put forth to convince a judge the order is necessary. If the protection order is granted, it will be illegal for the alleged abuser to contact the individual who filed for the order. This may mean the alleged abuser will be removed from the home.

In addition to forbidding contact, a protection order might have ramifications on divorce and custody issues. Property division, child custody, child visitation, child support, and spousal support can all be affected. To understand how the protection order may potentially affect a specific case it is important to consult with an attorney.

Domestic violence is very serious. In many cases, talking about the abuse and seeking legal help are the only ways to stop it. An experienced Rockville attorney can be a loud voice for these victims and help them find a life without fear.

Source: CBS News, "Study finds sexual and domestic violence widespread, largely undiscussed," Alexander Trowbridge, Sep. 23, 2013

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