How should a victim safely try to extricate themselves from an abusive relationship?
James Knox: The most immediate thing is, of course, to call the police and then get away from the individual as quickly as possible. Law enforcement is specifically trained to deal with these types of domestic violence situations. The officers typically respond to the scene, separate the parties, assess the situation, and in most instances when there is the report, the victim again has the opportunity to get away from the accused and you have the opportunity then to avoid that conflict directly.
I would not recommend somebody thinking that it’s just going to go away. If there are instances of domestic abuse, again, the court has the ability to place the parties into counseling if they deem it appropriate. And there are other avenues that can be taken if there is a way to repair the relationship. But I wouldn’t recommend somebody simply to believe that it’s just going to go away.
With all of the media focus and attention and our change in values and norms over the years, if we were talking 30 or 40 years ago, I think domestic abuse is probably much more prevalent and unreported. I think in today’s day and age, it is not tolerated like it was back then and, again, if these events transpire, the victim needs to come forward.