Domestic violence happens every day across the nation. While most victims of domestic violence are women, men also suffer from this type of abuse. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), an average of 20 people are physically abused every minute by an intimate partner, adding up to more than 10 million men and women in just one year.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, there are several things you can do to take action and get help.

Recognize the signs of abuse: sometimes abuse is not so obvious, as aggressors can often use subtle ways to oppress victims and become more aggressive as time passes by. Does your spouse or partner regularly find fault in what you do or tell you have no worth? Are you prohibited from having your own friends? Have you been stopped from seeing your family? Are you questioned when you leave the house and stopped if you do not have a valid reason to go? Does your partner say things that make you afraid? If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following, then you are likely a victim of abuse.

Call the authorities: call 9-11 and report the abuse to the authorities. Make sure the officers take your domestic violence reports seriously and get an incident number. Keep this information with your records so that there is objective proof that abuse has occurred.

Have a safety plan: if you reside with an abusive partner, generate a plan that will keep you and any children safe from the aggressor in case you need to leave quickly.

Get legal protection: go through the court system and file for a protective order, also known as a restraining order, to keep the abuser away from you and any children. A private attorney or the local self-help office of the courthouse can assist in this process. Keep this order with you at all times.

Seek shelter and support: find someone or a group of people that you can trust and tell them what is going on in complete confidence. Once you have left the abusive environment, find a safe place to stay – whether that is with trustworthy family, friends or a shelter – for both you and any children that may be involved.

Get medical care: if you or your children have been hurt, immediately seek medical attention at a local hospital or with a doctor. A social worker or domestic violence advocate may be called to assist you through this difficult time. Medical records can be important when putting together a case against your abuser.

Get Legal Help

Once you have found a safe place, reach out to a compassionate and skilled domestic violence abuse attorney right away to help preserve your rights under the law. The compassionate and understanding legal professionals at the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack will handle your case confidentially and seek all legal avenues to help protect you and your family. If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence abuse in Arizona, contact the firm today by clicking here or by calling 480.345.2652