Domestic Violence / Intimate Partner Violence : Identify the Problem and Make it Stop!

Every day in the news on the internet, TV, and newspapers, we read how Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence affects women, men and children lives in very tragic ways.  Many professional athletes have been exposed and many celebrities have professed their life changing experiences.

What is Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence ( IPV ) ?  It is the willful intimidation, physical and sexual assault & battery or serious mental and verbal abuse perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.

The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically and may include physical or sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The violence is often accompanied by irrational and controlling behavior and is intended to result in total dominance and control over the other intimate partner or the other family members.

Current Domestic/ Intimate Partner Violence Statistics:

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Everyday more than 3 women are murdered by their intimate partners.

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic/intimate partner violence in her lifetime. Women ages 18 to 24 are the greatest risk of being victims of domestic/intimate partner violence.

  • Every year, over 3 million children witness domestic violence in the home.

  • Children who live in domestic violence homes suffer high rates of abuse and neglect (30-60%)

  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.

The Worse Fact: Most of all Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence Incidents Are Never Reported! These Abusers are getting away with this abuse and can murder their loved ones at any time!

Legally, the abuser may be deterred from continuing this degrading, hurting behavior against his intimate partner and other family members. But these victims need help. Many times, the domestic violence victims are so weak and beaten down mentally and physically that they cannot help themselves.

Look for warning signs of abuse in relatives, friends and neighbors. Remember: if you are a friend, be their friend. Do something to disclose the abuse and danger in their lives!  You may save a life!

 

Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence – Know the Signs!

Would you know if your good friend from the office or your aunt that lives in Dallas is involved in a domestic / intimate partner violence relationship?  Probably not. Many times the abuse starts slowly, is concealed, and accelerates over time.

Domestic violence takes many forms, which include emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.  It occurs in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. Husband, wife, children, partners. The most important goal of domestic violence and abuse is to gain and maintain total and unyielding control over the victim.

How do you know if you may be in a domestic / intimate partner violence relationship with your partner?

  • Does your partner have a bad or unpredictable temper? Call you horrible names, insult you or put you down?

  • Does your partner limit your access to money, the phone, or the car? Are you constantly checked on about your whereabouts?

  • Are you discouraged from seeing family members and friends? Does your partner act excessively jealous and possessive without cause or reason?

  • Does your partner see you as property or a sex object and force you to have sex at times or in ways against your will?

  • Does your partner threaten to take your children away and harm them or to commit suicide if you leave him/her?

  • Does your partner blame you for his/her abusive behavior or destroy your belongings?

If you are already in an abusive situation, are your currently living in a hostile environment and:

  • Is your abusive partner threating violence

  • Has your abuser attacked you with aggressive, belittling, profane, or violent behavior so you know “Who the Boss is”?

  • After the abuse, does your partner feel concocted or temporary remorse, guilt and does he/she repeatedly promise to change?

  • Your abuser comes up with excuses and blames “you” as the abuser.  Does your relationship periodically go back into a” Normal Phase”?

  • Is all well until your abuser sets up his/her next situation when he/she can justify abusing you again?

If you are in a relationship with a Domestic / Intimate Partner who is exposing this behavior or you are already having abusive situations, seek help now!  Abusive relationships will destroy your self-worth and lead to anxiety and depression. Break free from this relationship by recognizing that such conduct is dangerous, that you are valuable and that you do not have to suffer this emotional pain!

If you are currently in a relationship or marriage with an abusive partner and need legal help, contact a knowledgeable attorney, other shelter or enforcement agency to obtain help.

Paternity in Texas – Is a Biological Father a Legal Father ?

A baby born to unwed parents does not have a legal father under Texas Law.  In order to exercise your rights as a father, including visitation and possession, a man must be a child’s legal father.  A common misconception is that if your name is on the birth certificate you are a legal father.  If you are not married to the mother, simply putting your name on the birth certificate of your child is not enough to make you the “legal” father and you cannot enforce your rights to the child.

The process to become a legal father is a simple one. If the biological father and the mother agree, they can both sign an “Acknowledgement of Paternity” which is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics.  Once paternity has been established, your name will be placed on the birth certificate, and the Court may order you to pay child support and grant you visitation or possession rights with your child.

TEXAS FAMILY LAW §160.301.   ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PATERNITY

The mother of a child and a man claiming to be the biological father of the child may sign an acknowledgement of paternity with the intent to establish the man’s paternity.

TEXAS FAMILY LAW §160.302.   EXECUTION OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PATERNITY

An acknowledgement of paternity must:

  1. Be in a record;

  2. Be signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury by the mother and the man seeking to establish paternity;

  3. State that the child whose paternity is being acknowledged:

    1. Does not have a presumed father or has a presumed father whose full name is stated;

    2. Does not have another acknowledged or adjudicated father.

  4. State whether there has been genetic testing and, if so, that the acknowledging man’s claim of paternity is consistent with the results of the testing;

  5. State that the signatories understand that the acknowledgement is the equivalent of a judicial adjudication of the paternity of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgement is permitted only under limited circumstances.

An acknowledgement of paternity is void if it:

  1. States that another man is a presumed father of the child, unless a denial of paternity signed or otherwise authenticated by the presumed father is filed with the bureau of vital statistics;

  2. States that another man is an acknowledged or adjudicated father of the child; or

  3. Falsely denies the existence of a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father of the child.

  4. A presumed father may sign or otherwise authenticate an acknowledgement of paternity.