October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and with the Gabby Petito case shocking the nation, it is a tragic reminder of the very real dangers of domestic violence, and how easily it can be hidden in plain sight. If you or someone you know is in a dangerous situation, please call ACT – Abuse Counseling & Treatment's 24-hour hotline at (239) 939-3112 (interpreters available upon request).
ACT – Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc., defines domestic violence as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional, financial, or psychological actions or threats if action with the goal of influencing another person. Also included in this are any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, humiliate, hurt, blame, injure, or otherwise wound someone. Domestic violence can happen to any person, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all education and socio-economic backgrounds.
Unfortunately, another negative aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is that there have been higher rates of domestic violence reported in our country, with less resources available for the victims involved. From October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office responded to 2,718 domestic violence related calls to service (source). These situations tend to be extremely complicated and unpredictable, presenting a safety risk to all involved. In response to this, the Collier County Sheriff's Department deploys a specialized unit consisting of a Domestic Violence Investigator, an Intelligence Technician, and a Victim Advocate through a partnership with C.A.R.E. (more information on C.A.R.E. may be found here). C.A.R.E. is The Center for Abuse & Rape Emergencies, Inc., and is a local victim services center which services Charlotte County. For those in Lee County needing similar services, please contact ACT (Abuse Counseling and Treatment) through their 24-hour hotline at (239) 939-3112. ACT will not discriminate against any individual in need of services and may offer special accommodations if needed.
Goldberg Noone Abraham partner and trial attorney Sheba Abraham has fought for the legal rights of victims of sexual and violent physical attacks, and understands the trauma and stigma associated with not only the event itself, but also in pursuing justice against the assailant. Victims often blame themselves or are re-victimized by the process of reporting the incident to law enforcement. Abraham says, “we understand the sensitive nature of sexual assaults, and even in cases where a lawsuit must be filed, we take steps to protect the victim's identity and any personal records relating to the event.” “It is very important to me that my clients get the counseling and care they need for their road recovery and trust our office to do the rest.” Attorney Abraham has successfully represented local assault victims, and understands the intricacies involved in these extraordinarily complex cases. “As a woman, I have a passion for standing up against anyone who would perpetrate this type of heinous crime and fighting for these victims is one of the main reasons I chose to become a personal injury lawyer.”
Don't hesitate to seek expert legal advice if you've been victimized in a sexual or violent physical assault. The attorneys at Goldberg Noone Abraham are always just a phone call away at (239) 461-5508, or you can click here to complete our short online contact form and we will reach out to you immediately.