On December 18, 2012, DuPage County Divorce Attorney, Erin Birt, attended the DuPage County Bar Association's Family Law Committee Meeting. The topic “Assessing Abuse & Alienation in Domestic Violence and Custody Matters” was presented by David Finn, Psy. D., of Associates in Human Development Counseling, LLC. The blog will focus on DuPage County Divorce: Domestic Violence.
DuPage County Divorce: Domestic Violence – Abuse Statistics
Dr. Finn highlighted the following abuse statistics (Kelly and M. Johnson, 2008):
- One in every three women will be the victim of a physical assault from an intimate partner throughout her lifetime.
- an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partners each year.
- 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
- Females aged 20-24 are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
- Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
DuPage County Divorce: Domestic Violence – Reluctance to Report
Dr. Finn stated that most victims are reluctant to call for help due to a fear of attention, shame, embarrassment and the consequences of the spouse being arrested. In Dr. Finn's experience, victims (mostly women) often think or feel:
- Will he lose his job?
- Will he divorce me?
- How angry will he be when he returns home?
- What about the kids?
DuPage County Divorce: Domestic Violence – Recommendations
Dr. Finn's recommendations for how to handle domestic violence cases are contrary to how most divorce attorneys practice or handle such cases which indicates attorneys still have much to learn when handling this type of case:
- Don't order anger management treatment – anger is a “use” problem not an “anger management” problem;
- Don't order family or couple to counseling – may inadvertently endanger family members;
- The issue of domestic violence (which is not the same a domestic battery) must be treated before the offender can engage in other therapeutic treatment;
- Domestic Violence treatment can and should occur concurrent with substance abuse treatment.
DuPage County Divorce Attorney & Mediator, Erin Birt, has experience working with clients that are victims of domestic violence. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your legal options and available resources. We, through The Birt Group, can also help individuals in need of substance abuse treatment. We are here to help, call us directly at (630) 891-2478 and let us focus on your concerns about DuPage County Divorce: Domestic Violence.
Schedule a Consultation with Attorney Erin Birt