Call To Begin A Consultation
Prior Lake952-226-2015
View Our Practice Areas

Domestic abuse: an issue shrouded in misinformation

Domestic abuse is nothing to take lightly. Whether you are a victim of violence or harassment, or accused of being the offender, the effects are very real and could have long-lasting impacts, such as impacting custody and parenting time determinations. Victims of violence have a right to seek court help. At the same time, if allegations are leveled against you, you have the right to defend yourself. In each situation, you deserve legal help dedicated to protecting your rights.

Abuse in its many forms is currently big news. The #MeToo movement is partly responsible for bringing new light to the issue. So, too, are headlines out of Washington, D.C.

The entire subject of domestic abuse is one that exists under a veil of misunderstanding. Lifting the veil is difficult. The latest effort comes from Maryland criminologist Susan Paisner who wrote a column that appeared recently in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In the piece, she highlights persistent myths about domestic violence, such as:

  • It is always physical. Abuse can be inflicted psychologically, emotionally and verbally. Victims might never have a finger laid on them, but if the behavior of another is coercive in some way, it can still be defined as abuse.
  • Only men are abusers. To refute this perception, Paisner points to the story of a male engineer in Utah who called a domestic violence shelter after a brutal assault by his physician wife. Officials were stymied, saying, "We're here to help women." Paisner goes on to cite federal statistics showing that 1 in 7 U.S. men, both heterosexual and gay, report being assaulted by intimate partners.
  • The situation can't be too bad if victims don't leave. Paisner offers that leaving an abusive relationship can be a "damned if you don't, damned if you do" proposition. Staying could mean death, but so could leaving if the abuser lashes out at the impending loss of control.
  • Education is a factor. Despite a view expressed by some politicians, judges and sociologists, the evidence shows that abuse is neither gender-bound, nor education-bound, and affects people of all different backgrounds.

Paisner wraps up her myth list debunking with the idea that abusers cannot help it. She quotes an attorney who says, "One of the oldest myths is that the abuser is out of control. ... Violence for them is not a random act, it is a way of controlling a situation."

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

We Can Help Ask us how - please call our family law offices at 612-200-2822 or fill out the form below to arrange a consultation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Offices Conveniently located in Minneapolis and Prior Lake
  • Minneapolis Office
    2100 Fifth Street Towers
    100 South Fifth Street
    Minneapolis, MN 55402

    Toll Free: 800-219-0858
    Phone: 612-200-2822
    Fax: 612-605-0968
    Minneapolis Law Office Map

    Prior Lake Office
    14093 Commerce Avenue
    Prior Lake, MN 55372

    Toll Free: 800-219-0858
    Phone: 952-314-2617
    Phone: 952-226-2015
    Fax: 612-605-0968
    Map & Directions

  • Minneapolis Office Map
    • VISA
  • Prior Office Map