Spousal Abuse in Arkansas: A Plan of Prevention

“I married my best friend,” “I married my soul mate,” We belong together,” are some of the many statements we often hear married couples say during the course of their marriage. However, in some marriages, there is struggle and hardships that will cause a breakdown in the relationship. These breakdowns may lead to divorce, separation, and in the most darkest times, spousal abuse.

Spousal abuse is defined as an act of violence or mistreatment that a woman or a man may experience at the hands of his or her marital partner. No matter what stage of a relationship, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse can occur. According to recent statistics, 1 in 3 women (35.6%), and 1in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

The Spousal Abuse Safety Plan Act of 2007 was designed in the State of Arkansas to decrease the occurrences of abuse and the exposure of abuse in children by training and education on the prevention of and intervention in spousal abuse. This plan supports community, faith, and civic based classes that caters to adults and even children that focuses on healthy relationships, how to determine unacceptable behavior in relationships, conflict resolution, spousal abuse awareness, etc.

When spousal abuse takes place in the home, it has the potential of doing more harm than the abuse itself when there are children involved. When children witness spousal abuse by one parent to the other parent, it may adversely affect the child into long term emotional scarring that can take years to remove, with suitable counseling and education. It may also cause a child to inflict harm on others, which may eventually cause him or her to seek rehabilitation in order to have a stable state of mind.

Spousal Abuse in Arkansas: How to Create a Prevention Plan

Below are a few common tips to consider when you feel that you have been a victim of spousal abuse.

  1. Code Word: Develop a code word that is known by you and trusted friends or family that signals to them that you are in danger by your spouse.
  2. Route: Plan a safety route to take by car or foot when and if you have to leave in an emergency situation. It also may be beneficial to share this route with other family members or friends if necessary.
  3. Mobile Communication: Use caution when using mobile devices as your abuser may monitor your online activity.
  4. Documentation: If you have filed a petition for relief from the court system, such as a restraining order, it may be beneficial to have that documentation handy in case you have to travel in an emergency. Other important documents may include, insurance cards, address books, custody or divorce papers, etc.
  5. Arguments: When possible, avoid rooms with sharp objects during an argument such as kitchens, garages, and workstations as these rooms may contain objects that could be used to inflict harm.
  6. Education and Counseling: Below are resources commonly used in the State of Arkansas that aids in shelters, education and other support. If you or someone you know may be a victim of spousal abuse, please seek help immediately.

Women & Children First: (501) 376-3219

The Dorcas House: (501) 374 -4022

Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence: (800) 799-SAFE

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233

If you decide to petition the Court regarding orders of protection or restraining orders, it will be beneficial to seek legal counsel from an experienced Arkansas family law attorney who will be able to assist you.

Tripcony, May & Associates provides services in divorce, petition for an order of protection, restraining orders, child custody, visitation surrogacy, annulments, pre and postnuptial agreements, grandparent rights, and other family law matters throughout the State of Arkansas. They currently have two locations in Little Rock and Hot Springs, Arkansas. Please contact one of their offices for a free consultation at (501) 296-9999, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may also view www.tripconylawfirm.com for additional information and resources.

**Statistics provided by The National Domestic Violence Hotline

LaTrenia A. Ceasar, MSLS, Freelance Writer, has been an employee at Tripcony, May & Associates since 2015. About the Author:
LaTrenia A. Ceasar, MSLS, Freelance Writer, has been an employee at Tripcony, May & Associates since 2015.