October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So why would we want to talk about domestic violence? The statistics are alarming. According to Alternatives to Domestic Violence in Riverside, 1 in every 4 women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime. Women aren't the only ones that experience abuse either. Men also experience abuse in their intimate relationships. The impact of domestic violence transcends generations as statistics show that boys who witness domestic violence as children are twice as likely to abuse their own spouse or children when they become adults. Essentially, it is highly likely that you know a victim of domestic violence if you haven't experienced it yourself. This is an epidemic that impacts all of us.

Though we work in divorce mediation, we have also worked in litigation and seen the impact of domestic violence on families. Domestic Violence isn't just physically violent. There are many forms of abuse - verbal, emotional, sexual, and financial. Behaviors are coercive and psychologically impacting and can have an impact long after the relationship has ended. If you aren't sure what to do, then it is best to get an expert opinion. You can contact one of the referrals below to discuss safety planning and your options for where to get help. You may also want to consult with an attorney to discuss your rights and if you need a restraining order. It is important to remember that you are not stuck. You do not have to stay and continue being abused. While the decision can be hard to make, if you believe that your relationship may be abusive, get help! 

Here are some referrals for support: