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Was Hope Solo the victim of domestic violence?

Maryland residents may be familiar with one of the most revered women in professional sports today -- Hope Solo, the goalkeeper for the gold medal U.S. Olympic soccer team. Recently, disturbing reports have surfaced that she may have been the victim of a domestic violence assault following an argument she allegedly had with her boyfriend and fiancé, former Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens.

It appears from reports that the Olympic medalist may have received a cut to her elbow in the alleged altercation between the two. Stevens was arrested on charges of fourth-degree domestic assault due to the presence of dried blood on his shirt and cheek, the injury to Solo and his admission that he and Solo had been arguing about where they should live following their marriage. A judge released him from custody the following day due to a lack of probable cause to keep him in custody. However, authorities are still conducting an investigation into the case, despite the fact that it appears that Solo and Stevens may have proceeded with their wedding plans only one day after the alleged assault.

As demonstrated by this case, domestic violence occurs at all levels of society, from the very poor to the very rich, from the very well-educated to those that have no formal education and across all racial lines.

Unfortunately, the victims of domestic violence are frequently too afraid or ashamed to seek help. In the case of Solo, some commentators suggest that she may feel as if she can handle the situation on her own. In many cases, however, this type of strategy fails and may even lead to more abuse.

Fortunately, Maryland courts take all allegations of domestic violence very seriously. Following any incident of domestic abuse, a temporary protective order can be obtained immediately in the state f Maryland. A final hearing is then scheduled within one week from the entry of the temporary protective order. At the hearing, the judge can address all pertinent issues, including child custody, child support and spousal support, if necessary .

Source: USA Today, "Hope Solo assault case still being investigated," Kelly Whiteside, Nov. 14, 2012

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