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Domestic violence is a primary health concern

Most people like to be in control. They like to be in control of their present circumstances, their future and their finances. For the average California resident, this desire to be in control is a good thing; however, when this need to control extends to controlling others, there is a possibility that it can turn into domestic violence.

Domestic violence has been defined as behavior that is abusive in nature and is used to control one's spouse or significant other. It has become such a problem throughout California and the United States in general that the Surgeon General has stated that it is currently the primary health concern within the United States. Many times the abuser is fully aware of what he or she is doing; however, some forms of domestic violence are subtle with the possibility of the abuser or victim not even realizing what it truly is.

The most well-known type of domestic violence is physical abuse. This can involve hitting, shoving or most any type of physical contact that can cause harm. Another type of well-known domestic violence is emotional abuse. This form involves the abuser consistently criticizing and undermining the victim's self-esteem. Both of these types of abuse can be devastating.

Stalking is another form of domestic violence. This can involve the abuser following the victim, showing up uninvited at the victim's home or workplace, calling or sending the victim unwanted messages or spying on the victim. While these actions in and of themselves may not be illegal, when they are unwanted and on a continuous basis, they can be considered stalking.

Domestic violence affects more than just the abuser and the victim. It also affects any children, other family members and even employers. Those in California who feel that they are victims of domestic violence will want to seek assistance. Such assistance is available through various community organizations as well as California's legal system.

Source: family.findlaw.com, "What is Domestic Violence?", Accessed on Jan. 7, 2017

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