It would be nice to think that couples in a romantic relationship never intentionally hurt one another. However, domestic violence and neglect is a serious issue in Colorado and across the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in four women will be subjected to domestic violence in their lifetime. And, domestic violence is not limited to women. The CDC reports that one in seven men will be subjected to domestic violence in their lifetime. Therefore, it is important that people in Colorado and across the U.S. understand what domestic violence looks like, so they can prevent it or seek help if needed.
Domestic violence constitutes more than just hurting someone physically. Financial abuse, emotional abuse and digital abuse can all fall under the umbrella of abusive behavior. In addition, domestic violence can occur between current or past romantic partners, as well as those with other familial relationships, not just married couples.
It is important that those who are victims of domestic violence understand that help is available. For example, if a health care provider in Colorado treats an injured person and believes the injury may have been caused by domestic violence, they have a duty to report the incident to police unless the injury is minor or unless the patient is 18 or older and does not give permission to the health care provider to report the injury.
In addition, victims of domestic violence can reach out to Colorado's court system for protection. A person in Colorado can seek a protection order to keep them safe from their abuser. This could be especially useful if a person is trying to divorce their abuser. Thus, those who are victims of domestic violence may want to discuss their situation with an attorney, to determine what can be done under state law to keep them safe.