SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. The Washington Post recently reported on a woman’s historic victory in civil court. After suffering serious injuries at the hand of her abusive spouse, a judge recently awarded her $1.5 million in compensatory damages, and another $20 million in punitive damages. Few were expecting the woman to receive such a high award, but the verdict sends a strong message about victims’ rights and how civil courts may soon come to view domestic violence. The case is the first time in Ohio where a person brought forth a domestic violence lawsuit against a former spouse and won. The case sets an important precedent for women and men who may have suffered violence and injuries while in a marriage or relationship.
Domestic violence can impact all areas of a victim’s life. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, abuse may start in small ways. By the time it has escalated to physical violence and financial control, victims may find that their lives are so intertwined with their partner that it can be very difficult to escape the cycle of violence. Domestic violence includes a range of actions, including coercion and threats, put downs, name-calling, isolating a victim by controlling where he or she goes, shifting responsibility for abuse, threatening to take the children away, preventing a victim from keeping or getting a job, and controlling finances and credit cards.
Domestic abuse can limit a person’s ability to control their financial life, social life, and can even impact their well-being. There are few injuries that are so all-encompassing and life-altering. Those who do manage to escape the cycle of violence often find themselves struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, due to the psychological, physical, or sexual abuse they have suffered.
Domestic violence also carries a degree of social stigma. If you haven’t suffered abuse yourself it can be difficult to see why someone would choose to remain in an abusive relationship. Yet, the cycle of abuse is insidious. By the time many individuals realize they are in an abusive relationship, they’ve made major commitments to the other person.
As more women stand up and speak up about sexual harassment and assault, more women are likely to come forward about domestic violence and abuse. Thanks to recent court decisions, women may finally have the means to pursue personal injury lawsuits, when former partners have hurt them financially, physically, and emotionally.
The cost of domestic violence is high. Counseling may not always be covered by health insurance. Victims may struggle to re-enter society. Time out of work may have impacted skills and victims may need training to re-join the workforce.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to domestic violence, you may have rights under the law. The Law Office of Ralph C. Petty are personal injury lawyers in Salt Lake City, Utah who are closely watching how the recent settlement in Ohio might set precedent for other domestic violence victims elsewhere. Protect your rights. Visit us at https://www.ralphpettylaw.com/ to learn more.

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