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Domestic violence: when enough is enough

It is natural to want to believe the best about those we love. After an argument, one may take back hurtful words said in the heat of the moment and may make promises that such an occurrence will not happen again. For many California residents this is a recognizable pattern; however, for some, the heated exchange of words is frequently accompanied by physical blows. It is something that those who live with domestic violence can find hard to explain.

Abusers come in all shapes and sizes, both male and female, and can operate in many different ways to control and manipulate their victims. Some are Jekyll and Hyde personalities who can go from violence to sweetness in a heartbeat. Some may constantly wear down a spouse's self-esteem, keeping the individual on a tight leash and alienating everyone who might try to help. An abuser may use frequent threats, or they may do the opposite and try to evoke the victim's sympathy. In most cases, there will be many excuses and attempts to shift the blame from the abuser's behavior onto the victim.

It may take victims some time to come to terms with the treatment they receive at the hands of a violent spouse; however, once he or she understands that the problem will not go away, that the abuser will always be an abuser, it is time to take back some control of his or her life. Contacting one of the Domestic Violence Centers in California is an important step toward seeking support at such a tumultuous time. If one is in immediate danger, it may be possible for support workers to direct one to sanctuary at a safe house or shelter.

There are various legal options available to victims of domestic violence. A restraining order can be issued against an abusive spouse, tailored to one's own circumstances. It may be necessary to issue more than one if an abusive spouse disregards the first one. Seeking the advice appropriate to one's own circumstances is an empowering step toward building up a case showing one's abuser in his or her true light.

Source: signalscv.com, "Domestic Violence in the Santa Clarita Valley Part 2", Jim Holt, June 25, 2015

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