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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The week of Oct. 16-22 is the National Week of Action. Below are some facts on the topic.

Over a third of women have been victims of stalking, rape or physical violence by an intimate partner. Annually, about 7 million women get physically assaulted or raped by former or current intimate partners. Twenty percent of women will experience rape during her lifetime. On average, three women get killed each day in America by their former intimate partners.

The impacts of these episodes of violence and sexual assault are far-reaching. Women feel fearful and concerned for their safety. They worry about their access to medical care and housing, and that their injuries will cause them to miss work or skip school.

Personal safety is inextricably linked with women's economic security. Despite periodic domestic violence, many victims remain in abusive relationships out of fear that they won't be able to provide for their children or themselves. Children have a special vulnerability as they witness and experience physical and sexual assaults in the home. Unless the cycle of domestic abuse is broken, they are in danger of repeating the same dangerous patterns.

Nearly 15.5 million kids get exposed to domestic violence annually. A quarter of girls and one out of six boys get sexually abused as minors. Kids who have been exposed to violence in the home have higher rates of substance abuse and attempted suicide. They are more likely to run away, break laws and get involved with teen prostitution. Boys who were exposed to domestic violence or sexual abuse have nearly four times the risk of committing domestic violence as adults.

If these statistics apply to you and your situation, make it stop today. A family law attorney can help you break out of the cycle of abuse by filing restraining orders and a petition for divorce, if necessary.

Source: National Network to End Domestic Violence, "Domestic and Sexual Violence Fact Sheet," accessed Oct. 14, 2016

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