October, which ended a couple of weeks ago, is traditionally deemed Domestic Violence Awareness Month—a time for us all to sit back and reflect on our duties and responsibilities as citizens where domestic abuse is concerned. This is an issue of exceptional importance to Colorado divorce and family law attorneys, but it is also an issue of extreme importance to the public at large, and sadly is one that far too many people overlook.
The problem, firstly, is that we shouldn’t need to dedicate a special month to educate people about domestic abuse and violence—these are issues that people should be aware of all the time. Domestic abuse is everyone’s responsibility, not just those involved.
Secondly, even though we do have a month dedicated to this awareness, there are many people out there who don’t even know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which means we need to do a better job getting the information out there.
Charges of domestic violence come up often in divorce proceedings. Indeed, the moment when a victim of abuse decides to leave their abuser is a huge and scary moment, and one that can be exceptionally dangerous as well as freeing. Domestic violence attorneys need to be vigilant for their clients, who rarely are thinking straight after escaping such an awful situation, and they need to be sensitive to the turmoil through which their clients are going.
In fact, it’s not just lawyers that need to be vigilant—we all have responsibilities as good citizens and neighbors to watch out for these sorts of things. Remember, whether the victim is seven or seventy, domestic violence and abuse crosses all age, race, cultural, and social boundaries. It can happen to almost anyone, and it’s our job as decent human beings to help those in need.