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Justice Department to Combat Domestic Violence

Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced the introduction of a new federal domestic violence prevention program. The program is designed to identify high-risk domestic abusers and their victims. It is also intended to connect women who are victims of domestic violence to a network of police and social workers who can support and protect them.

The new federal program was inspired by the country's desire to stem gun violence.

Domestic violence is a significant problem everywhere. New York is no exception. In 2011, victims in New York made more than 318,000 hotline calls related to domestic violence and sexual assault. In light of the fact that many victims do not report domestic violence, the actual total number of attacks is likely much higher.

The image of domestic violence in the public mind is that of an abusive husband or boyfriend beating his wife or girlfriend. Domestic violence is much broader, crosses gender lines. It includes physical, sexual and psychological abuse. Research says that abusers often use threats and intimidation and specifically refrain from inflicting physical harm so they can control, manipulate and abuse their victims without being accused of using physical force. However, the wounds are often just as deep.

Escaping from an abusive relationship is very difficult. A victim of domestic violence often faces threats of even greater violence from the abuser. Social and financial pressures to stay in the relationship are added challenges. Many victims feel that they have nowhere to turn.

For this reason, the new federal program, called the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative, fills an important need by connecting victims to police and other social services to protect them and enable them to escape the terror of domestic violence.

If you have been the victim of domestic violence, we may be able to direct you to resources that may help you. Contact a family law attorney at our office to find out how we can help.

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