Domestic violence is an epidemic in our society with dramatic, negative effects on individuals, families and communities. Domestic violence is a crime that knows no economic, racial, ethnic, religious, age or gender limits. Women who are victims of domestic violence most likely are also victims of sexual assault and, stalking. A domestic violence victim may experience systematic rape in addition to physical and psychological abuse. According to Backman, (p.54) nearly one in every four women are beaten or raped by a partner during adulthood. Three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day in America, on average women are at an increased risk of harm shortly after separation from an abusive partner. Children are particularly vulnerable as both victims and witnesses to domestic violence. Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year.
Many victims do not seek protection from the authority because they are concerned that the court will not believe them . They fear that after reporting the abuse, the abuser would come back with a fierce vengeance or with an intimidating attitude against her or her family. According to Berry, D. B. , (2000 , pp.32-34,38,68,
Three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day in America, on average. Women are at an increased risk of harm shortly after separation from an abusive partner. Also, approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year. Children are particularly vulnerable as both victims and witnesses to domestic violence.
Has the parent provided minimum degree of care for the child (ren)? In the Sharwline Nicholson v. Nicholas Scoppetta, minimum degree of care for the child (ren) was provided. Minimum degree of care is define as a baseline of proper care for children that all parents, regardless of lifestyle or social or economic position, must meet. The statutory test is “minimum degree of care”, not maximum, not best, not ideal and the failure must be actual, not threatened. In the Nicholson case, the victim did not cause the harm to the child. There was no evidence that the victim had neglected or maltreated the children. Whether a particular mother in these circumstances fails to exercise a minimum degree of care is necessarily look at the facts. It is also important to look at the severity and frequency of the violence, and the resources and options available to her. We must also take into consideration the level of fear and the risk upon leaving the home.
Contrary to the Nicholson case, in the Matter of Sayeh R., 19 NY2d 306,315, 317 (1997) where the mother demanded immediate return of her traumatized children without regard to their need for counseling related services, this indicates that the mother failed to exercise a minimum degree of care. The court may override the individual’s right to refuse treatment, because, New York recognizes four such...