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Dallas police increase efforts to curb domestic abuse cases

Domestic abuse can be dangerous for anyone involved, particularly when physical violence is involved. In these situations, as any Dallas family violence attorney knows, victims may wish to seek court-ordered protection and a divorce from their spouse.

Cases of death due to domestic violence are on the rise Dallas, with 19 deaths in 2012 so far. In response, the Dallas Police Department has increased the number of officers assigned to the domestic violence unit from 21 to 29 members. This increase in staff allows each detective to devote more time to each case, so they are able to better help victims.

The police department has also piloted a program aimed at determining which victims have the largest risk of being fatally injured by family violence, so that they can be encouraged to seek help from shelters and elsewhere.

Domestic abuse can encompass many different behaviors, not only violent actions. Emotional abuse is one form of domestic abuse that often goes unreported, possibly in part because many victims may not realize that the reality of their situation.

In instances of physical violence, many victims may not report the incident to police out of fear of retaliation or shame. Anyone can be a victim of family abuse, not just women, as is commonly believed. Children, husbands, boyfriends and parents can also included be considered victims of domestic abuse.

Friends and other family members can do their part in recognizing the signs of domestic abuse. They can encourage victims to report instances of domestic violence as well as seek help from hotlines and shelters.

On the other hand, it may be helpful for those impacted by abuse to seek the help of a trustworthy legal advisor. This way, they can explore all of their options, which may include divorce or court-enforced restraining orders. The uptick in local domestic violence deaths is a reminder that it's never too early for victims to seek any and all forms of assistance.

Source: Dallas Observer, "Domestic Violence Murders Up 25 Percent in Dallas This Year; DPD Beefing Up Its Staffing," Eric Nicholson, Oct. 5, 2012

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