CENTER — After witnessing a rise in domestic violence cases in Center last month, Center Police Chief Dale Meek has issued an advisory to help those affected by this crime to recognize signs of abuse and respond accordingly.
“All seven arrests made in Center at the end of August were domestic violence related which is concerning as the leader for public safety,” Meek explained.
“I want to take a moment to define domestic violence, present some indicators of violence in the household and provide some resources for those who need help but may not, for various reasons, notify law enforcement.”
Colorado State Statute defines domestic violence under CRS 18-6-800.3 as an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.
“Domestic violence” also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.
To be labeled as a domestic violence incident, an intimate relationship must currently or have previously existed. “Intimate relationship” means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.
Two main issues will be noted in a domestic violence relationship. The first is a cycle of violence. The cycle of violence includes a tension building phase where words or actions promote an atmosphere characterized by tension building between those in the relationship. A crisis phase or violent act will occur which is the direct culmination of tension.
Following the crisis phase or violent act will be a honeymoon phase in which will resemble the normal functioning family. Below is a chart providing a visual demonstration of what the cycle of violence looks like:
The next issue that is concerning is the need for control in a domestic violence relationship. Control allows for the perpetrator of violence to continue the ongoing violent encounters. Control is imperative to maintain the relationship and prevent the victim party from leaving or reaching out to others who may help.
There are many reasons why people will abuse their intimate partners. These are:
• Anger management issues
• Low self-esteem
• Feeling inferior
• Cultural beliefs they have the right to control their partner
• Personality disorder or psychological disorder
• Learned behavior from growing up in a family where domestic violence was accepted
• Alcohol and drugs, as an impaired individual may be less likely to control violent impulses
It is important to report domestic violence as the conditions can grow worse over time and lead to significant injury or death. Please contact law enforcement if you believe a domestic violence incident is occurring. Also, if you know someone who is experiencing violence in their life, but they will not report the violence refer them to some of the resources below.