Domestic violence has been on the rise for the last couple of decades. According to reports, one out of four women and one out of nine men are likely to experience such harsh violence in their lives. Research suggests that around 20 people fall prey to physical abuse every minute in the United States.
Victims of domestic violence must be aware of the choices available to get out of such a harassing situation. However, there might be a situation when someone might get arrested by police officers on fake charges. It is necessary to stay calm in such a situation and immediately look for a legal attorney who will help the accused come out of the case. Keath Oliver Criminal Law firm has adept defense attorneys to help the accused.
Nevertheless, actual victims of domestic abuse find it quite challenging to help themselves out of such circumstances and require particular legal resources. This article provides some legal advice to help domestic violence survivors.
Escaping The Abuser
The best advice in such a threatening situation is to get as far away as possible from the abuser. It involves contacting one’s support network, like close friends and family, creating a legal strategy, and prioritizing one’s safety first.
Developing a Safety Plan
One must immediately chalk out a prosecutable and effective safety plan after experiencing extreme violence from the abuser. It will help the victim escape this harsh situation safely with the necessary evidence. A practical safety strategy includes:
- Gathering evidence against the crime.
- Prudently creating reserves.
- Disclosing the problem to close allies like family members and friends.
- Exploring government resources.
- Connecting with an esteemed advocate.
- Organizing related documents and keeping them accessible.
- Creating and teaching the children secret codes, actions, and words to call for help.
- Modifying privacy and security settings on social media handles and electronic gadgets.
- Alerting the neighbors about the situation.
- Briefing reliable individuals at the workplace and the kids’ school about the assaults.
- Packing an emergency escape bag with essential commodities, medications, and necessary documents.
It is best advised to keep all the plans as covert as possible from the abuser for a safe escape.
Preparing And Collecting Documents
It is essential to collect necessary and relevant documents to provide at the court when asked. The victim must hide them at an unknown, secured location where they can still be accessed easily. Below are the essential documents required during an emergency escape from the abuser. One may need some applicable papers for the children as well.
- Legal identification cards issued by the US government
- Valid birth certificates
- Valid documentation of the violence
- Property related papers
- Health insurance documents
- Insurance proof
- Passbook and other bank account details
- Green cards
- Documents related to the workplace
- Certificates issued by the court
- Social Security cards
- Payment counterfoils
- Latest tax returns
Reaching Out For Legal Assistance
Domestic violence is an identified severe crime in the US. As a victim, one may find it challenging to find a way out and make the right decisions. Hence, one needs to look for legal aid as soon as possible. The following tips are constructive in finding legal help:
- One can consult any known resources for domestic violence survivors.
- It is best advised to search for an experienced attorney in the neighborhood to further assist with the legal proceedings.
- It is recommended to check the reviews for promising counsel that one thinks might be able to help in this case.
- A survivor of domestic abuse can collect information about various available legal resources from the attorney and ask for references from experts in the field.
- One can use the internet to search and discover various handy legal resources.
- The victim can go deeper in the probe and find inexpensive legal resources in the neighborhood.
- Survivors can ask individuals who they confide in to represent them legally. The trustworthy individual can be a family member, a close friend, or even other former victims of the crime.
- An advocate who is sincerely enthusiastic about the case has a higher chance of helping the survivor find a successful and safe legal escape from the abuser.
Survivors often believe the misconception that resources are pretty expensive and out of budget. However, there is legal support available for such victims at affordable costs. Hence, one should always have hope and keep exploring various sources to find legal help.
Building A New Life Through Legal Actions
Survivors must also look for ways to rebuild one’s life after escaping the abuser. The options differ depending on the severity of the crime and one’s feelings and desires. Also, the possibilities are subject to vary from one location to another. Nevertheless, one must talk with their attorney and start building a new life through available courses of action.
Filing For a Divorce
Most victims opt for divorce from their abusive spouses after experiencing domestic violence. Filing a divorce is a very decisive step against the abuser to limit further contact and maintain distance from the abuser. A divorce will also hand over valuable assets to the victim and present more legal documentation of the crime. The settlements following the filing of divorce largely depend on the individual case of abuse. The circumstances, necessary assets, documentation, and the court’s discretion play a significant part in the outcome of the divorce filing.
Depending upon the severity of the case, the judge may also issue orders for extra protection for the victim. The abusive spouse may be asked to surrender certain rights and assets if found guilty.
Claiming For Injuries
Survivors have the right to indict their abuser in court for abuse-relating losses and injuries. Victims are entitled to compensation from the accused for medical bills issued due to physical injuries and mental stress. Claims can be pursued anytime – while the proceedings are carried out, before or after the case.
Filing For Protective Orders
As a victim of domestic violence, the survivor can file a protective order in court before the proceedings. The judge will issue these orders based on the case’s outcome and the crime’s intensity. He may even issue additional protective orders if he feels the need for it. The victim can also file the extension of an existing protective order before it expires.
Gaining Child Custody
Having a child with an abusive spouse can be quite threatening to the safety of one’s children. It is necessary to try one’s best to gain the child’s full custody or at least reduce contact between the abusive parent and the child. The surviving parent must secure all the necessary resources to raise their children properly.
A guilty abusive parent will most likely lose parental rights depending upon the evaluation of the child’s custody. The winning party will get full custody of the child under such circumstances. The court decides its custody orders depending upon several factors like the financial stability of both parties, the child’s will, his health, and other resources.
One must not stay silent and suffer harassment and assaults from such abusive romantic partners. The victim needs to know that legal help is available to help escape such a harsh situation.