Los Angeles: There are many people in our society who still believe in the myth that only a man is capable of being abusive and that only a woman can suffer abuse. The truth is anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. Abusers can be any gender and abuse happens in all walks of life.
"Abuse" means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another.
"Domestic violence" means "abuse" committed against an adult or fully emancipated minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.
Many domestic violence victims decline to report the incidents because they fear the abuser, and also lack knowledge of community resources available to help them survive. Domestic violence victims are so impacted by violence they feel their situation is hopeless and beyond escape.
Violence includes, but is not limited to the following circumstances:
Physical – hitting or burning;
Sexual – rape or incest;
Emotional – threatening, insulting or harassing; and
Neglect – poor physical or emotional care.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION TIPS
Watch for personality changes such as more aggressive, violent, moody or accusing behavior;
Develop a plan of action and instruct your children about the plan;
Locate a safe house such as the home of a trusted friend, trusted neighbor or family member;
Locate a safe shelter that is suitable to your needs and accepts children if necessary; and
Seek counseling assistance.
"Take a stand. Reach out to someone in the community if you believe they are a victim of domestic violence, and are being abused," states Commander Sharon Papa, Department spokesperson. "Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, all cultures, all incomes, all ages, and religious backgrounds."
There are many more strategies outlined in the LAPD’s "Revised Domestic Violence Awareness Circular." For more information, or to obtain copies of crime prevention circulars, contact the Community Liaison/Crime Prevention Unit at 213-485-3134.