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Georgia agencies release report on domestic violence homicides

It is an unfortunate truth that domestic violence exists in many homes in our community. Whether it is in your own home or in one of your neighbor's, domestic abuse is a very real problem that causes many people in Georgia great harm.

Georgia has been ranked 10th in the nation for the rate at which men kill women, according to a report released late last month by the Georgia Commission of Family Violence and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Most of these homicides, according to the report, are domestic violence-related murders. Hopefully the sobering facts in Georgia's 2012 Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report will encourage some victims of domestic violence to seek help.

In order to get out from under the hand of an abusive spouse or partner, Georgia residents may want to contact a family law attorney. Of course, it may be necessary to contact the police as well in an emergency situation. In Georgia it is possible for victims of domestic violence to obtain a temporary restraining order almost immediately; this is done by petitioning for an ex parte restraining order. Later, the alleged abuser would attend a hearing where a judge would decide whether to make the order permanent.

Victims of domestic violence often put off seeking legal help because they hope that the violence will pass, and that the abuser will change his or her ways. The truth, unfortunately, is that domestic violence tends to continue to escalate. According to Georgia's Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report, 128 Georgia residents were killed due to domestic violence in 2012; so far in 2013, 34 victims of domestic abuse have been killed.

Law enforcement officials have said that victims tend to be the most susceptible to violence right after leaving an abusive relationship or announcing they will leave. Those who are leaving violent relationships may want to consider contacting a family law attorney, police and possibly victims' rights advocates in order to put an exit plan into place that is as safe as possible.

Source: The Daily Tribune News, "State agencies release 2012 domestic violence fatality report," Jessica Loeding, March 31, 2013

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