Let’s Talk About Domestic Violence
March 8, 2019
BY: Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich
When reading Lauren Justice’s New York Times Opinion article, “What Would I Have Done if I Would Have Killed Her That Night: Ten months in a class for men who hit women,” I was particularly struck by Ms. Justice’s statement,
Domestic abuse is a choice.
Although I have always believed that to be true, admittedly naively and biasedly, of the abuser, this simple but bold statement was more encompassing to me. It made me consider the victims of domestic abuse and those victims whom I have represented. Was domestic abuse a choice for them?
No, victims do not choose to be abused. But yes, they do have a choice: to accept the abuse; to allow it to continue; to expose their children, if any, to it; to make excuses for the abuser; to accept the excuses of the abuser; to hide the abuse from family, from friends, from co-workers, from the outside world; to remove themselves from the situation, the place of abuse, the home; to call local law enforcement; to file charges against the abuser; to seek refuge in a shelter, if necessary; to petition for a restraining order against the abuser; to find out their rights; to demand therapy for the abuser; to have attendance at the classes Ms. Justice speaks of compelled for the abuser; to give the abuser a second chance.
These choices may need to be made in a split second. But they are choices. And they are choices to be made by the victims of abuse.
At Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC., our New Jersey family attorneys are here to help. Contact us for more information.