Domestic Violence is a pattern of behaviors including physical, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, alone or in combination, by an intimate partner often for the purpose of establishing or maintaining power and control over the other partner.
The US Department of Justice estimates that more that 90% of all domestic violence victims are female and that most abusers are male. Whether the victim is male or female, violence of any kind in relationships is unacceptable. Domestic violence affects people from every age, racial or ethnic background, religious group, neighborhood, and income level. Domestic violence also occurs in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender relationships.
The law defines domestic abuse as the occurrence of one of more of the following acts between family or household members:
- Attempting to cause or causing physical harm
- Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm
- Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress
There are four main types of abuse:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Economic abuse
Family or household members are defined as persons who:
- are or were married to one another
- are or were residing together in the same household
- are or were related by blood or marriage
- having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together
- are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship, which shall be adjudged by district, probate, or Ithaca municipal courts in consideration of the following factors:
- The length of time of the relationship
- the type of relationship
- the frequency of interaction between the parties, and
- if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination of the relationship
The Cornell Police take reports of domestic violence very seriously and each report will be investigated fully. In any domestic violence situation, the safety of the victim and any involved children is paramount. A CUP officer who has reason to believe that a family or household member has been abused or is in danger of being abused must:
- Remain on the scene a reasonable time to prevent further abuse
- Assist the abused person in obtaining medical treatment - by driving the person or obtaining transportation
- Assist the person in locating and getting to a safe place
- Give the abused person a written copy of his/her rights, reading it in English and, whenever possible, in the victim's native language
- Activate the emergency judicial response system when the court is closed for business.
- Inform the victim that the abuser, if arrested, may be eligible for bail and may be promptly released.
For more information regarding Domestic Violence services available in Tompkins County, contact the Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinator at (607) 274-7504 or visit the Tompkins County Domestic Violence Prevention web site.