experience & dedication...

Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

Back to Articles of Interest

The Legal Corner: The Legal Corner: Are you a victim of domestic abuse?

October 14, 2010

Domestic violence passes from generation to generation. From all of the articles that I have read about domestic violence, this fact is perhaps the most sobering. Children raised in abusive households become victims or abusers. Domestic abuse is not simply about acts of violence. Domestic abuse is usually not made up of a singular behavior (i.e. physical abuse) but is rather a pattern of abusive behaviors which may include physical, sexual, emotional, financial or psychological abuse. Abusive individuals often use a wide range behaviors to control, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, frighten,.blame, and/or injure a current or former partner. One of the major difficulties in domestic abuse is often the victims do not even realize that they are being abused. Does your partner purposely: (1) embarrass you, (2) control what you do, (3) make all the decisions in the relationship, (4) prevent you from attending school or work, (5) destroy your property, (6) threaten you, or (7) control your finances? If you answered yes to even one of these, you may be in an abusive relationship.

The following is a list of questions Sobering statistics: Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year in the United States. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. The cost of domestic violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year. Approximately a year ago, I wrote a three-part series involving domestic-violence related issues. This article and my next article will be a continuation of that series and will focus on the ways that we as a society can reduce and hopefully eliminate domestic violence. Additionally, I will provide resources for those who may be in abusive relationships.

embarrasses the other person with put-downs
looks or acts in ways that are frightening
tries to control what the other person does, who the other person sees or talks to, or where the other person goes
tries to stop the other person from seeing friends or family members
tries to take the other person’s money or Social Security check
makes the other person ask for money or refuses to give the other person money that is supposed to be shared
makes all of the decisions
threatens to take away or hurt the children
prevents the other person from working or attending school
acts like the abuse is no big deal, denies doing it, or blames something or someone else, even the person being abused
destroys the other person’s property or threatens to kill pets
intimidates the other person with guns, knives or other weapons
shoves,slaps, chokes or hits the other person
forces the other person to try and drop charges
threatens to commit suicide
threatens to kill the other person

October is domestic abuse awareness month. While it may be helpful to raise awareness during a specific month, domestic abuse is an issue that It may be hard to recognize that you are in an abusive relationship before a serious physical assault happens. However, there are warning signs that can help you identify an abusive relationship before things get out of control.
What Do I Need to Know?
Know the warning signs. There are often overlooked abusive behaviors that can be early indicators that your relationship is headed in the wrong direction.
Here are a few warning signs to remember:
Extreme jealousy
Constant insults or ridicule
Telling you what you can and can’t do
Financial Control
Possessiveness or controlling behavior
Making false accusations
Keeping you from seeing or talking with family and friends
Remember not all of these signs will be in every abusive relationship. But, if you see any of them in your relationship, take our Healthy Relationship Quiz to help you decide if your relationship is as healthy as you deserve. Don’t forget about other things that, when combined with the above behaviors, could be red flags. Consider:
History of abusive behavior, especially against a former dating partner
Big mood swings
Explosive temper
Belief that abuse is acceptable in relationships
What Can I Do?
If you recognize any of the above warning signs in your relationship, you may be in an abusive relationship. Remember that you have many options. Let your partner know that you won’t tolerate abuse. Create a plan to stay safe, whether you end the relationship or not. Call the police if you are ever in danger or need help. And know your legal rights, especially when you are ready to leave.

In Carroll County, Starting Point provides services for victims of domestic abuse and has a 24-hour crisis line at 800-336-3795. For more information about Starting Point, you can go to Starting Point’s website is at: http://www.startingpointnh.org. Additionally, the Domestic Violence Emergency Project (DOVE) provides victims of domestic violence emergency legal services and also has a 24-hour emergency service at 1-866-644-3574. In addition, you can always talk to your doctor, a family member, a friend, or any other person that you feel comfortable with about your concerns. Acknowledging domestic abuse is the first and most important step toward ending it.

Consequently, this will be the first of two articles that I will write detailing important issues related to domestic abuse. In this article, I will discuss warning signs of domestic abuse, and provide resources to individual who may be in abusive relationships. raise general issues discuss the While it is important to highlight the issue of domestic abuse during the month, it is important to understand that stopping domestic violence must be a year-long commitment. That commitment is not simply relegated to individuals who work as advocates against domestic violence, but extends to all parents, schools, and police departments. In fact, it extends to all individuals. Domestic violence is one of the few topics that may affect us all. It is not restricted by age, race, cultural background, religion, sex, economics or any other category.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

Back to Articles of Interest

By: Edward D. Alkalay