Domestic Violence

Legal Measures that Help Victims Escape Domestic Violence

(based on US law and generally) Domestic abuse is an unfortunate and often unreported crime in America and across the world, and in many cases, it ends only in death. As a result, legal experts agree that men and women who are in abusive situations at home need to get out of those situations as soon as possible. Sadly, many victims are unaware of legal options put into place to help them, and so they stay.Why Victims StayAside from not understanding their legal options, many victims stay in abusive relationships out of love, loyalty and hope. They also typically rationalize the abuse by believing that it’s somehow their own fault, that if they could just be more attentive or if they could just keep the house cleaner, the abuser would relent. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth, as the vast majority of abusers will only seize upon such opportunities to ramp up their abusive behavior.

Making a Plan

In order to truly escape an abusive situation, the victim needs to first understand that abuse in a loving relationship is not normal. The victim must see that he or she is deserving of respect, and then a plan of action needs to be made. In some situations, this plan may include simply leaving the home within the moment to stay with a trusted friend or family member, while in other situations, long-term planning must take place. When planning long-term, the victim needs to find a safe place to stay, and he or she also needs to examine legal options.  It helps to have a support system of some sort set up of friends or family or perhaps an organization that supports victims of domestic violence through therapy, housing, and other avenues.

Criminal Legal Options

Whether it’s PA lawyer or one in Florida, most attorneys advise that victims should contact the nearest police station or sheriff’s department to report the abuse. From there, an officer will investigate the claims and make an arrest if evidence is found. In many cases, simply making the complaint will be all that is required in order for the abuser to be taken into custody, and a restraining order can also be issued to keep the abuser away from the victim. Law enforcement personnel can also offer victims options for shelter and resources for starting a new life away from the abuser.

Civil Legal Options

Victims of domestic abuse may also have civil legal options to pursue in order to get compensation for their injuries, both physical and mental. To do this, a victim of domestic abuse will need to partner with an attorney to file a lawsuit. This option will allow the victim to present his or her case in front of a judge and jury, and the victim’s lawyer can present evidence on the victim’s behalf. Additionally, the victim can also file paperwork with a family law court to obtain sole custody of any minor children involved in the case. The family law court can also issue restraining orders and custody rights to ensure that the abuser is not allowed to have contact with the children.

If you’ve been a victim of domestic violence, even if it’s only happened one time, don’t wait to do something about it. As mentioned, these types of situations only get worse with time, and many result in death. Remember, you deserve love and respect, and a man or woman who is going to abuse you is not someone who you need in your life. It may be hard, but by resolving yourself and seeking out legal options, you can put an end to your abuse today.

As a single mother of two, writer Molly Pearce is a strong advocate for the empowerment of victims of abuse. There are numerous emotionally charged issues involved and no two scenarios are ever exactly the same. PA lawyer, Steve E. Kellis has handled all kinds of assault and domestic violence cases arising from practically every imaginable situation.