Family mourns shooting death of Rockwall woman

Domestic violence affects not only the victim and the victim's family, but also the larger community. Any Dallas family violence attorney knows that violence of any kind impacts the health and safety of the community.

Recently, a Rockwall woman was shot and killed outside of a shopping center by her ex-boyfriend. The woman's family told reporters that the woman had been fearful of the ex-boyfriend, who is a former law enforcement officer. She is survived by three children. The ex-boyfriend has been charged with murder. Friends and family of the shooting victim gathered in the location where she was killed to hold a vigil.

Domestic violence can take many forms, and often, victims may not even recognize that they are experiencing domestic violence. Physical abuse and sexual abuse are often recognized. But other forms of abuse include emotional, economical or psychological abuse, as well as stalking and threats of violence. Victims can be spouses, intimate partners or even other family members. According to one study cited by the American Bar Association, approximately 1,200 woman and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner in 2000. According to another study, two-thirds of women killed by firearms were killed by spouses or intimate partners.

Victims of domestic violence may have several options available to them that can be used to stop the practice. Domestic violence victims have the option of filing a lawsuit against the abuser through tort law principles. Additionally, they can get an order of protection, or restraining order, from a court. These orders prohibit abusers from attacking and contacting a domestic violence victim, and can include orders to stay a certain distance away from the victim.

Source: WFAA.com, "Rockwall vigil honors domestic violence victim," Jonathan Betz, Deb. 19, 2013

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