Domestic violence is a hidden reality. It affects people of all incomes, races and religions. Domestic violence is often not reported to the police due to the abused being fearful of additional abuse by the abuser. Frequently the abused does not have the necessary support group to distance themselves from the abuser or believes that the abuse is a onetime incident. A recent domestic violence incident exemplifies why continued domestic violence education is necessary.
Boston.com reported a recent horrific domestic violence incident in Somerville, MA. Jose Gonzalez, a 32 year old Somerville, Massachusetts resident and his 30 year old unnamed girlfriend got into an argument in their car. While arguing a police officer approach the car and asked the girlfriend if everything was ok. She told the police officer that everything was fine and the police officer went on his way. 15 minutes later Mr. Gonzalez dropped off his girlfriend at the hospital where it was found that three of her fingers were missing. A knife and her fingers were later found near the location of the parked car.
Clearly, this is a sad story. This story needs to be shared with all women in order to prevent future events. So how does a woman prevent this from happening to her? The first step is to acknowledge that she may be in an abusive relationship. A sign of an abusive relationship may be if she finds herself having to walk on eggshells around her partner. Is she constantly watching what she says or does around her partner? Is she always being belittled and controlled? These are all signs of an abusive relationship.
The City of Somerville has created a directory of shelters, organizations and emergency information to help combat domestic violence. As an attorney I am able to help a victim get a restraining order and equally if not more importantly connect that person with organizations to help them make empowered decisions.