Abuse, no matter what form, can have negative consequences. Unfortunately, many cases of domestic violence go overlooked due to lack of awareness. Many victims may not realize they are being abused, and many abusers may not realize they are inflicting violence. It is important to know what domestic violence can look like in order to help those experiencing it.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in a relationship that is used to control another intimate partner. It can include any behavior that physically harms another, produces fear, restricts another from his or her freedoms, or forces unwilful behaviors. Domestic abuse can be physical and sexual violence, emotional abuse, threats and intimidation, or financial deprivation.
There are many different forms of abuse, including but not limited to:
Assault: when a person causes or attempts to cause you bodily injury
Harassment: when a person contacts you or communicates with you in a way that causes you significant annoyance or alarm
Stalking: when a person intentionally and repeatedly follows you and causes you to feel unsafe
Criminal mischief: when a person intentionally damages your property
Cyberstalking: when a person takes repeated online action that causes the recipient significant emotional distress
Who can be a victim of domestic violence?
Domestic violence does not discriminate. Both men and women of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background can be a victim of abuse. Victims can be:
- Dating/intimate partners
- Family members
If you think you may be a victim of domestic violence, call the police or go to your local courthouse right away. If a Judge believes there may have been a case of domestic abuse, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) will be issued. After a Temporary Restraining Order has been issued, two things will occur:
- Your case will be scheduled for a final hearing within 10 days to determine if a Final Restraining Order/Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) should be entered.
- The victim will then have immediate protection from the abuser. If the alleged abuser contacts or goes near the victim, there is an automatic arrest and, in some cases, jail time.
We Are Here for You
If you feel threatened or are fearful for your safety, you could be a victim of domestic violence. Every scenario of abuse is unique, but each requires immediate attention. If you believe you have been the victim of domestic violence or you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, contact our attorneys today. We are here to help protect you from further harm.