Victims of domestic violence in British Columbia are often embarrassed or scared to report abuse to authorities. The B.C. Coroners Service reported that the average number of deaths caused by spouses or domestic partners between 2010 and 2015 was 12 per year. In most cases, friends and family had no idea of what was happening to their loved ones, who likely never realized that orders of protection might have saved their lives. Many cases go unreported, and officials say the death toll is only an indication of the prevalence of this epidemic called domestic violence.
The panel reported that every death indicates thousands more suffering the same violence. Authorities say deaths from domestic violence are the most preventable of all homicides, and a lot more needs to be done. However, one of the problems is the emotional commitment abused spouses have to their loved ones, even the abusive ones. Despite their suffering, they may feel love and have faith that their love will overcome all. Many think the abuser will change and that the family will be happy again.
Victims keep their suffering secret because they fear being pressured to leave their homes, their children or their communities. Abusers typically break down the confidence of their victims which leaves them thinking that they cannot cope on their own. Authorities intend on calling for more funding to create awareness of this problem and help victims understand that they need not endure such circumstances.
There are lawyers in British Columbia with experience in all matters related to family law. A consultation with such a professional can provide answers to victims of domestic violence and explanations of how the law can protect them. One way is for the lawyer to obtain orders of protection that will prevent the abusive spouse or partner from making contact with the victim. A lawyer can also explain how children can be included in such orders because many parents remain in these circumstances to protect their children.
Source: CBC News British Columbia, “Domestic violence made worse by silence, coroners service finds“, Liam Britten, Accessed on Jan. 7, 2017