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.


Domestic Violence Family Law Uncategorized

New Definitions aimed at Taking on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is one of the most difficult and sensitive topics that family law solicitors have to deal with, and the cases tend to be personal and can be incredibly tough for victims and their families

Though It’s unlikely that we can eradicate the threat of domestic violence altogether as there is no accounting for the behaviour of criminal individuals, but the justice system does have a responsibility to ensure those who act violently are punished appropriately.

Thus, the government has decided this month to reword the definition of domestic violence with the aim of addressing some key discrepancies.

Incorporating Minors

Following a study from the British Crime Survey which found that those in the age range of 16-19 are the most likely to experience domestic violence, the new definition includes all of those over the age of sixteen.

By changing the law the government hopes not only to bring justice to those who previously would not have been able to prosecute, but it hopes to raise awareness of the problems of domestic violence in young people.

Psychological Coercion

The second major change to the law is the inclusion of coercion and, as it is to be stated in statute, ‘coercive control’. This appears to be an umbrella term which will encompass all manner of behaviours that restrict the freedom of one of the partners in a relationship.

This will include both clear cut cases where individuals threaten or deliver physical violence, either with regularity or as a one off, but it will also include less obvious cases.

For example, cases where individuals are cut off from sources of support, perhaps their families or friends or where they are prevented from acting independently. This could see a number of cases that previously would have been treated as civil problems criminalised.

Though this might appear like legal semantics, the changes will have a real impact upon the practice of family law solicitors and they will change the way in which domestic violence is perceived and treated when they are brought in March 2013. Hopefully, the new definition will mean more cases where aggressors are justly punished for their actions and victims will be allowed access to the support they need.

Overall, though, these changes should in general raise awareness to the trauma that is caused by domestic violence and, above all else, we will hopefully see a decline in the number of cases that are seen in the courts.

Here at Clough and Willis we have a dedicated team of domestic violence law solicitors who are headed by a Resolution accredited specialist. We advise and represent male and female partners as well as other family relations subject to verbal and physical assaults or harassment .