Family Violence

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Family Violence
Family violence is a serious crime against society. It is a crime that exists in all walks of life. Many people still believe the misconception that family violence is a personal problem that is better dealt behind the closed doors of their homes.

What they fail to realize is that family violence is a crime that not only affects the victim's life, but it affects everything the victim does, as well as everyone that the victim is around, including their family, friends, co-workers and sometimes, even strangers.

Victims who remain in abusive relationships oftentimes do so because they have children with the abuser and want to try to save the relationship for the sake of the children. This places the victim in a position that not only jeopardizes her safety, but also the safety of the children. In most situations, the children have witnessed the abuse that one parent endured from the other. In these types of relationships, the children become the silent victims, most often helpless and vulnerable to the situation they are in.

Many victims, initially, are not aware of the impact and effects that the verbal, mental and/or physical abuse have on their children. In fact, the effects of family violence are not apparent until the children start acting up or begin to have social and/or educational problems.

Children are considered victims of family violence whether the abuse was directed to them or simply because they witnessed the abuse of one parent by the other. When the Family Violence Act was enacted, the Guam Legislature took into account these situations and included provisions to ensure that child victims were afforded the same type of safety and protection that adult victims had. The act clearly expresses that, "children should not be exposed to family violence because even when they are not themselves physically assaulted, they suffer deep and lasting emotional effects from the exposure to family violence."

The realization that...
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