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Study reveals insights into attitudes about domestic violence

Virginia victims of domestic abuse often look to emergency responders to provide protection in their time of need. However, first responders generally have the same attitudes as other segments of society as it relates to their perceptions of abuse victims. This was the takeaway from a study conducted by Florida State university and University of Windsor researchers.

The study asked 403 emergency personnel workers in Florida a series of questions about domestic violence. Of the respondents, 33 percent said that domestic violence was a normal response to stress. Furthermore, 35 percent of respondents said that the victim was to blame if he or she stayed in an abusive relationship. Many of those who took part in the survey believed that the victims were responsible for what happened to them.

There are many reasons why people might choose to remain in abusive relationships. Some victims may feel as if they have to stay for financial reasons or for the safety of their children. They may also feel as if emergency responders are judging them or somehow implying that they are at fault for what happened to them. Ultimately, those victims may be more inclined to want to forget what happened as opposed to reporting it.

Domestic violence can have a significant impact on the victim's life. Such people may want to pursue protective orders or seek other legal remedies. On the other hand, those who may have committed domestic violence may find that it has an impact on future child custody proceedings. Parents who may have abused their partner may lose custody or visitation rights as it might be in the best interests of their children.

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