Law Office of Martha-Irene Weed
Board Certified in Marital and Family Law
1003 West Cleveland Street
Tampa, Florida 33606
According to Florida Statute 741.28, domestic violence is defined as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member”. All of the crimes listed in the definition are serious, but it’s even more serious when these activities occur between members of a family that have the responsibility to protect one another.
Amazingly, domestic violence is quite common, but it is thought to be a widely under-reported crime, especially assault against men. The victimized spouse/partner may feel it is their duty to not “air the dirty laundry” or maybe they are too scared to make a report. In either case, if unreported, the violence can, and often does, escalate.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
- 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
- Less than 1/5 of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following the injury.
- 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
- There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion.
- Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
- 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence:
- Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year.
- Children exposed to violence are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution and commit sexual assault crimes.
- Domestic violence has been estimated to cost employers in the U.S. up to $13 billion each year. Between one quarter and one-half of domestic violence victims report that they lost a job, at least in part, due to domestic violence.
According to The Guardian/Observer:
- More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male.
- Men are often treated as "second-class victims" and that many police forces and councils do not take them seriously.
- Men are reluctant to say that they've been abused by women, because it's seen as unmanly and weak.