When Joseph Peralta was arrested for stabbing his girlfriend in a Lynnwood Rite Aid, he had several felony convictions, including stalking, domestic violence and assault. Prosecutors charged him with first-degree domestic violence assault for the September 18 attack. (The Herald: http://www.heraldnet.com/news/stabbing-suspect-says-he-doesnt-remember-attacking-girlfriend/). This incident shows an ugly face of a crime that often does not receive a lot of attention.
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that someone uses to gain power and control over an intimate partner. Domestic violence can include physical, emotional or sexual abuse. It can happen to anyone, no matter social status, income, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
While anyone can be the victim of domestic violence, the fast majority of victims who report domestic violence are female.
Nationwide, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. One in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. One in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner. A woman is far more likely to be killed by her spouse, an intimate acquaintance, or a family member than by a stranger.
Some warning signs of domestic violence are:
· Controlling behavior
· Quick involvement
· Blaming others for problems
Victims can face several barriers to seeking help including fear of injury, shaming and self-blame, lack of money, resources and support, and social pressures to “keep the family together.”
There are things that you can do to prevent domestic violence or help someone who is being abused:
· Educate yourself about domestic violence.
· Help a friend or family member who is being abused.
· Speak up about abuse.
· Support your local domestic violence program.
Here are some resources on domestic violence:
Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County:
Domestic Violence Awareness Project:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Tip Sheet:
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office “Partners in Crime Prevention”: