Get Help from the National Domestic Violence Hotline
Family members suffering abuse are advised to get help from the national domestic violence hotline
While official statistics of abuse and violence within families have been a cause for concern, the actual unwritten figures that should include, the many unreported incidents could be quite alarming. Not only would a clearer picture of the situation be possible, but so will a great deal of intervention, if victims of these acts would not hesitate to get help from the national domestic violence hotline as soon as such problems arise.
Domestic violence is often unreported for some reasons. In many cases, a physically abused wife may be fearful of bringing her case to the attention of the proper authorities, because she believes they would arrest and incarcerate her abusive husband, thereby depriving her family of their only means of support. Others are fearful that a violent family member who is apprehended and penalized by the law could, one day, be back with a vengeance and make things even worse for everyone.
There have, indeed, been instances of overzealous social workers who resorted to a severe intervention such as separating children from their parents rather than leaving things to sort themselves out. Such indiscretions, however, are soon rectified, resulting in a positive outcome for the members of the family. Families who endure violence and abuse inevitably realize that the worst thing they can do is allow the problem to fester, with a misguided hope that they can deal with such things by themselves. A little bit of trust and confidence in their local social workers would be beneficial.
Still other victims of abuse are reluctant to get help from the national domestic violence hotline because they dread the shame and scandal that could accompany the appropriate intervention by authorized personnel. Sadly, there are families who would prefer to endure the abuse and maltreatment by a family member than subject themselves to humiliation and “loss of face.” These families should develop some confidence in the competence and integrity of authorized service providers who have received the appropriate training and cultivated the proper outlook towards performing their work with the utmost discretion. They are, after all, tasked with protecting the victims of domestic violence, and not adding to their grief.
There are, however, some families whose cultural backgrounds cause them to attach undue value to honor and avoiding shame that they willfully shun any intervention, whether from peers, relatives, and least of all the government, just to avert any degree of scandal simply by making sure nobody knows about the situation. Personnel of agencies that address the problem of domestic violence often have to proactively investigate such cases, even if there was no call for help.
There are, of course, some victims who prefer not to get in touch with the proper authorities to deal with domestic violence problems because they have been trying to avoid dealing with authorities altogether. Having strived to remain inconspicuous or “under the radar” due to some anomaly or misdemeanor they are guilty of, whether it be tax evasion, illegal residence, vagrancy, or some other transgression, some people are reluctant to get help from the national domestic violence hotline, fearing that once they are logged into the system, all their guilty secrets may suddenly come to fore. It is advisable for such people to simply come clean and face all these issues, and allow the authorities to deal appropriately and justly with the domestic violence problem, which is often a relatively serious and even life-threatening hazard that surely outweighs any civil offense one may be hoping to conceal.
Finally, there are victims of domestic violence who fail to get help from the national domestic violence hotline or even from local law enforcers because of ignorance. Some people are not even aware that help is available. Worse yet, some people are not even aware that they are legally entitled to State protection against such acts, whether or not these acts were committed by a stranger or a member of their family.
A great deal of domestic violence can be avoided or ceased if families were more aware of and had more confidence in the system behind the Hotline. A round-the-clock national network that was established less than ten years ago, the hotline takes calls from any part of the United States, and refers the issue to the appropriate response personnel and organizations in the specific locality of the victim. The highly-trained responders are equipped and knowledgeable in dealing with any form of domestic violence, including marital rape, child abuse, elderly abuse, unwarranted incarceration, and the like; as well as the various forms of physical violence and mutilation occurring within families which may seem culturally permissible, but are, nevertheless unlawful.
This worthwhile response system would only be valuable if the people it was meant to serve are willing to avail of it, and readily get help from the national domestic violence hotline whenever warranted.