Is domestic violence still a problem in California and elsewhere? This is obviously not a new issue, nor is it likely to stop being important now and in the foreseeable future.
In 1641, the Massachusetts Body of Laws and Liberties declared that no woman should have to endure injuries from her husband unless he was defending himself against an attack perpetrated by the wife. However, other regions have taken longer to come around to the idea that domestic violence is a problem.
In a mid-19th century North Carolina case involving a woman who sought a divorce from her abusive husband, the state supreme court ruled that the Bible gives husbands the authority to do whatever is necessary to keep their wives in their proper place. However, progress would be made in recognizing the plight of battered spouses and the impact that domestic violence can have on society as a whole. In 1964, the first battered women’s shelter opened in California, followed seven years later by the country’s first rape crisis center.
From 1984 to 2003, presidents from both parties took steps to give funds to state organizations that aimed to reduce domestic violence. In 1995, Bill Clinton declared October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Pilot programs have also been started to provide free legal services for those who have been abused and need help keeping custody of their children or seek divorces without depleting what little money abuse victims may have.
Is domestic violence still a problem in California and elsewhere? A domestic violence victim does have legal options to leave the abuser. Anyone who has experienced sexual, emotional or physical abuse at the hands of a spouse or relative may wish to talk to a family law attorney who could help that individual get a restraining order or another form of relief.