Top 7 Ways a Domestic Violence Attorney Can Protect You

Domestic Violence Attorney

Is your partner abusive? Don’t suffer in silence. A domestic violence attorney can help you with restraining orders, child custody, safety planning & more. Get the legal help you deserve.

Latest Facts and Figures About Domestic Violence

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This equates to more than 10 million women and men over the course of a year.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contacts sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner, while data is unavailable on male victims.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point where they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
  • 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

Domestic violence is one of the worst enemies of family life. It destroys not only families but the psychological health of the victims, as well as damages their physical integrity when physical violence is applied. For different reasons, some individuals abuse their spouses, partners, kids, and even parents. No one deserves to live in fear, and if you are experiencing domestic violence, seeking legal help is crucial.

Domestic abusers tend not to realize the severity of their acts; they cannot control their anger and see violence against their family members as a normal way to release their anger and frustrations.   Moreover, many of them are not even aware of it, particularly when it is psychological violence.   Furthermore, sometimes victims themselves take long time and suffering before realizing they are victims of domestic violence.

A domestic violence attorney can be of much help to a victim. Although it is not mandatory to hire an attorney to seek help from the state in cases of domestic violence, an experienced domestic violence attorney knows what to do in each different case of violence and understands the reality of the victims who are usually in big need of not only legal assistance but also encouragement. When domestic violence is taking place, the victim needs protection against the perpetrator. Many of them do not know what to do as they do not count on a network of supporting friends or family victims.

In this aspect, specialized attorneys will help the victims in two manners:

  • Helping them find a safe place.
  • Obtaining an order to prevent the perpetrator from contacting the victim.

A specialized domestic violence attorney knows all the community resources available for victims of domestic violence, such as shelters where women and children shelter where they can stay safe while their problems are being legally handled. Additionally, the lawyer will go to court to obtain a restraining order which prevents the abuser from coming near you or contacting you. In more severe cases, victims may have to pay for medical treatments and may lose wages. Here your domestic violence attorney can file a lawsuit to recover damages, as well as to obtain monetary compensation for pain and suffering.

Is there a reason to stay married to someone who abuses you physically or emotionally? Your domestic violence attorney can help you face the unpleasant process of divorce. Besides helping you with the divorce, your attorney can advise you on how child custody could play out in the case of divorce. Moreover, knowing that many victims remain in an abusive marriage because they fear they will be left without financial resources to support themselves or their children, your attorney will help you receive alimony from your ex-spouse, as spousal support as well as child support.

Finally, your domestic violence attorney will represent you – the victim- in court and will deal with your abuser, taking a big load off your shoulders and mind. Physical or psychological domestic violence becomes a very delicate and sensitive issue for the victim and may not allow you to think clearly and act in consequence; here lies the importance of having an experienced domestic violence attorney taking care of all aspects on your behalf.

7 Ways a Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help You

1. Understanding Your Rights and Options

Domestic violence laws vary by state. A qualified attorney will explain the legal landscape surrounding domestic violence in your specific location. They can help you understand your rights, potential legal options, and the possible consequences of your situation. This information could involve:

  • Restraining orders: A restraining order is a court order that prohibits your abuser from contacting or coming near you. An attorney can assist you in filing for a restraining order, explaining the different types available (e.g., emergency, temporary, or permanent) and ensuring its enforceability.
  • Child custody issues: If you have children, domestic violence can significantly impact custody arrangements. Your attorney will advocate for your child’s safety and well-being in court, ensuring fair visitation rights and protection from further abuse.
  • Criminal charges: Domestic violence can sometimes lead to criminal charges against the abuser. An attorney can advise you on potential charges and the legal process if you choose to press charges.

2. Creating a Safety Plan

Safety should be your top priority when facing domestic violence.  An attorney understands the importance of personalized safety planning and can help you craft a plan that addresses your specific needs. This might include:

  • Securing temporary housing: Shelters or safe houses can provide refuge in immediate danger situations. Your attorney can assist with navigating the process of finding and accessing proper housing.
  • Financial assistance: Domestic violence can have a significant financial impact. Your attorney can help you explore options such as financial restraining orders, victim’s compensation programs, or connecting you with resources for financial aid.
  • Workplace safety measures: You might be concerned about abuse escalating at your workplace. Your attorney can advise you on your rights and advocate for safety measures from your employer, such as changes to work schedules or no-contact orders within the workplace.

3. Negotiating Orders of Protection

Restraining orders, also known as orders of protection, are a crucial legal tool for victims of domestic violence.  Your attorney can guide you through the process of filing and obtaining a restraining order. They will explain the different types of restraining orders available, such as those that limit contact, require the abuser to stay a certain distance away, or even prohibit them from possessing firearms.

4. Protecting Your Child(ren)

Children are often caught in the crossfire of domestic violence.  If you have children, your attorney can be a fierce advocate for their safety. They will fight for fair child custody arrangements that prioritize your child’s well-being, ensuring they are protected from further abuse and have safe and healthy visitation with the other parent when appropriate. Additionally, your lawyer can help you document any evidence of abuse towards your children to further strengthen your case.

5. Navigating the Court System

The court system can be complex and intimidating.  A domestic violence attorney possesses the skills and experience to navigate it effectively on your behalf.  They can:

  • Represent you in hearings: Lawyers can present your case in court, ensuring your voice is heard by the judge.
  • File motions: Depending on your situation, your attorney might need to file motions for various purposes, such as requesting changes to custody arrangements or strengthening your restraining order.
  • Ensure you are heard: Your attorney will ensure your side of the story is clearly presented to the court, ensuring your rights and well-being are protected.

6. Building a Strong Case (if applicable)

In some cases, you may be facing false accusations of domestic violence.  An attorney can work with you to build a strong defense.  They might:

  • Gather evidence: This could involve collecting physical evidence, witness testimonies, medical records, or any documentation that contradicts the accusations.
  • Negotiate plea bargains: If facing charges, your attorney can negotiate on your behalf, exploring options to minimize penalties or have charges dropped entirely.

7. Long-Term Support and Resources (continued)

The legal battle doesn’t end after the case is closed.  A domestic violence attorney can connect you with long-term support systems that can help you rebuild your life. These resources might include:

  • Shelters and support groups: Shelters can provide safe housing and support services during and after your legal battles. Support groups connect you with others who have experienced similar situations, fostered a sense of community and understood.
  • Counseling services: Domestic violence can have a significant emotional impact. An attorney can connect you with a therapist specializing in trauma and abuse recovery, helping you process your experiences and move forward in a healthy way.
  • Financial aid programs: Financial abuse can leave victims struggling financially. Your attorney can help you explore resources such as government assistance programs, victim’s compensation funds, or even legal aid organizations that can offer ongoing support with financial matters.

Finding a Domestic Violence Attorney

Many resources can help you find a qualified domestic violence attorney. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Local domestic violence shelters or hotlines: These organizations often have connections with pro bono (free legal aid) attorneys specializing in domestic violence cases.
  • Your state’s bar association: Most state bar associations have referral services that can connect you with domestic violence attorneys in your area.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: They offer a confidential hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) and online chat services that can provide information and resources, including referrals to attorneys.

Remember, you are not alone. With the help of a qualified domestic violence attorney and the support of available resources, you can overcome this challenge and build a safer, healthier future for yourself and your loved ones.

Conclusion

Domestic violence is a harrowing experience, but you don’t have to face it alone.  A domestic violence attorney can be your trusted guide and advocate throughout this challenging time.  Their legal expertise and dedication can make a world of difference in protecting you, your children, and your future.  Don’t hesitate to seek legal help – your safety and well-being are worth it.

FAQs

1. What is domestic violence in daily life?

Domestic violence in daily life refers to a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use to gain power and control over their intimate partners.

2. What is the most common crime domestic violence?

The most common crime within domestic violence is intimate partner violence, which includes physical and/or sexual violence, threats of violence, and emotional abuse by a current or former partner.

3. What are the four main types of violence?

The four main types of violence are:

  • Homicide: the killing of one human being by another.
  • Assault: physically attacking another person with the intent to cause harm.
  • Robbery: forcibly taking something from another person.
  • Rape: forcible sexual intercourse with another person.

4. Who has the most domestic violence cases?

Black individuals experience the highest rates of domestic violence at around 9.2%, followed by Hispanic individuals (8.6%), American Indian/Alaska Native (8.2%), and non-Hispanic whites (5.7%). Notably, 12.5% of multiracial individuals reported experiencing domestic violence in the past 12 months.

5. Which of the following are best practices for protecting yourself from violence?

Best practices for protecting yourself from violence include:

  • Being aware of your surroundings to notice any sudden movement or if something seems out of place.
  • De-escalating, if possible, to safely leave a situation without having to fight.
  • Maintaining distance from your attacker.
  • Planning and preparing for your escape route.
  • Training with a weapon before carrying it.
  • Practicing disengagement moves to break free from holds and escape a fight.

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