Taking Action Against Domestic Violence

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home, but individuals who become the victim of domestic violence can find their home to be a frightening place. Domestic abuse occurs when a parent, spouse, or child is victimized by another family member.

Small occurrences of domestic abuse can escalate to life-threatening situations quickly. Protecting yourself by taking action can be the only way to put an end to the abuse.

Types of Domestic Violence

When thinking about domestic violence, many people think only of physical abuse. Pushing, shoving, hitting, or slapping can all be classified as physical abuse. It's important to remember that there are other types of abuse that constitutes domestic violence as well.

Berating or criticizing a family member continually (emotional abuse), forcing unwanted sexual acts (sexual abuse), and withholding money or failing to provide for the needs of a family (financial abuse) can all be grounds for domestic violence.

Talk to your attorney about any frightening behavior occurring in your home to determine if domestic violence is taking place.

Emergency Protective Orders

Protection against domestic violence can be secured through an emergency protective order. These orders are issued by the police when a court order order cannot be obtained because the court is not in session or the victim is in imminent danger.

Police will evaluate the domestic violence occurring in the home and determine if immediate protection is needed. An emergency protective order can easily be converted into a longer lasting restraining order if the victim needs ongoing protection against an abuser.

Restraining Orders

The most restrictive form of protection that can be provided for a victim of domestic violence is a restraining order. Restraining orders are issued by a judge, and these orders prevent a perpetrator from coming into contact with an abuse victim.

A restraining order can offer protection while a domestic violence victim waits for his or her abuser to be brought to trail. Common elements of a restraining order include proximity restrictions and limits on contact via telephone or email. An experienced domestic violence attorney can help you present your case to a judge to secure the most restrictive restraining order possible.

Dealing with domestic violence requires that a victim take action to put an end to the abuse. Understanding what constitutes abuse, working with police to obtain an emergency protective order, and filing for a restraining order are all things you can to to take action against domestic violence in the future.