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Protecting Yourself Against Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can occur between spouses or other family members. It may range from angry outbursts and controlling behavior to physical or sexual assaults, resulting in serious and potentially life-threatening injuries for victims. The courts take accusations of domestic violence seriously, and an experienced family law attorney can help you in taking the actions needed to ensure your safety.
Know The Signs of Domestic Violence
According to the National Council Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), abusers use threats and intimidation, verbal and physical assault, and other types of aggressive or hostile behaviors to exert power and control over their partner. Domestic violence may involve physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and it impacts people regardless of age, race, sex, or economic status.
Domestic abuse often begins slowly, with subtle comments and actions that intensify over time. Signs include:
- Bullying behavior, such as name calling and put downs;
- Being overly possessive, jealous, or distrustful;
- Criticizing friends or family, and attempting to isolate their partner;
- Being controlling with money and household expenses;
- Dictating how their partner dresses, or trying to control where they go;
- Stalking or monitoring their partner, either in person or via computer and GPS systems;
- Threatening to hurt them, their family, or their pets;
- Displaying weapons, such as guns or knives, as a means of intimidation or threat;
- Damaging or destroying their partner’s belongings;
- Preventing them from going to work or school.
Legal Protection Against Domestic Abuse
Unfortunately, the NCADV advises that domestic violence does not necessarily end once you leave the abuser, and may cause it to escalate or intensify. To protect yourself, you may need to take legal action. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, states vary in how they classify domestic violence in criminal cases and the penalties they impose, but nearly all enable victims to obtain a protective order and to initiate proceedings in the family court. Actions the court may take include the following:
- Prohibit the abuser from contacting their spouse or partner over the phone or in person, or from appearing at their home, work, or school;
- Prevent the victim from having custody or being in the presence of any minor children unsupervised;
- Allow the abused party to remain in the family home, and require the abuser to pay support;
- Require the abuser to obtain counseling and check in regularly with the court.
Once a protective order is in place, it can be enforced through local law enforcement and the court. Penalties the abuser may face if they defy the order include fines and mandatory imprisonment.
Contact an Attorney Today
A Phoenix Family Law lawyer can help you understand your options if you are experiencing domestic violence. Feel free to contact the Ronald Kossack if you, or someone else you know, needs legal guidance about domestic violence, 480.345.2652.