Domestic Violence Family Law

Internet Safety Advice for Domestic Abuse Survivors

The internet can be a valuable source of information and support for survivors of domestic abuse, but it can also pose a threat to your safety. Many abusers obsess over their victim and have a tendency to track their online activity. If you have escaped your abuser, your online presence may also be dangerous because it can lead your abuser back to you. Applying simple rules to your internet activity can drastically improve your online safety.

Cleaning up your computer
Because your abuser is someone you know, they have likely at some point had access to your computer, laptop or cell phone. One way that abusers can track your online presence is by secretly installing monitoring or spying software. Another easy way they may spy on you is by turning on parental controls, and making you the child’s account which is monitored. If your abuser were to do this, everything the “child” does is reported back to the “parent,” meaning that anything you do is reported back to your abuser. Any victim of domestic abuse should check for this software. If you are not tech-savvy you can take your computer to a trusted computer repair shop.

After you have checked your computer for monitoring software, change all of your passwords to new, strong passwords. Do not make your password anything that your abuser might guess. If you have a cat named Fluffy, your password should not be Fluffy123. This not only includes your email, social media and bank accounts, but your wireless connection password as well.

E-mail and social networking
If your abuser continues to contact you via email, simply blocking their email address from your existing personal email account is likely not enough to prevent future contact, because they can always create new accounts. To put an end to contact you must create a new email account that only your most trusted contacts and colleagues have access to. Remain anonymous and be sure not to include any part of your name in the email address. This will make it more difficult for your abuser to find you. Also check to be sure the email service does not expose your real name in the “from” line when corresponding.

Delete all existing social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. If your abuser is aware of these accounts, he will find ways to check your statuses, check-ins and photos. If you want to continue using social media, delete all current accounts and recreate new ones with stringent privacy settings. Sometimes privacy settings can be tricky, and will leave a lot of your information exposed even when you think you have applied the strictest of options. Also be cautious of who you “add” on new accounts, avoiding any mutual friends that you and your abuser share.

Shopping online
Although online shopping accounts like eBay and Amazon may seem to carry harmless information, they are actually the most dangerous because they contain information regarding credit cards, email address and delivery details. When deleting and changing accounts, don’t put yourself at risk by letting these ones fall by the wayside.

Special thanks to Aeschleman Law for providing this article.

Aeschleman Law
San Jose Family Law & Domestic Violence Attorney
1550 The Alameda, Ste 330
San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 724-8930

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.