Seeing Domestic Violence as a Public Health Issue (Part 2)

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 01, 2020 | 0 Comments

To read part 1, click here.

In October, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health referred to the domestic violence epidemic as a “public health issue” and recommended that, due to the long-term effects of domestic violence (DV) on individuals and families, screening for DV should be integrated into preventative care.

While domestic violence is a crime, the idea of also treating it as a health issue to be screened may have its merits. Doing so would not only identify more unreported cases of DV and get help for more survivors—it also has the potential to prevent DV by providing help to people who may be at increased risk for committing DV. In fact, if those who are caught in the cycle of domestic violence—both perpetrators and survivors—begin to view it in this context, they may actually move faster to get the help they need. Since the best outcome for any domestic violence situation is for it not to have happened at all, let's look at DV for a moment through the lens of prevention.

From the Standpoint of Survivors

If DV screening became part of preventive health care, or if potential victims could identify the signs of danger and reach out for help, the advantages would be numerous, and could include:

  • Faster intervention to break the cycle of DV
  • Ability to provide physical and mental health treatment for both survivors and perpetrators
  • Education on ways to identify the warning signs and de-escalate tensions before an argument becomes physical
  • Better support and protection for DV survivors looking to leave an abusive relationship

From the Standpoint of the Perpetrators

A pre-emptive approach to stopping domestic violence could benefit those who are vulnerable to committing violent acts, as well. Treating it as a health issue could:

  • Encourage perpetrators to seek help to break the cycle of violence (e.g., therapy, anger management)
  • Educate them on the warning signs and risk factors, including possibly having been victims of violence themselves
  • Teach people how to practice prevention at home and in their relationships
  • Help couples find a path to a healthier relationship (if both want it) after the perpetrator has served his/her sentence

If you have been arrested for domestic violence, the Lento Law Firm can help you navigate this difficult situation by providing expert counsel, advising you of your options, defending your rights in court, assisting with PFA cases including reversal and expungement, and more. For more information, call 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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