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How Can I Respond to Domestic Abuse or Threats?

HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 08, 2014



How Can I Respond to Domestic Abuse or Threats?
Domestic Violence

“Domestic Violence” includes abuse or threats from one person to another when the two people were or are married, domestic partners, dating, living together, parents of the same child(ren), or closely related by blood or marriage. The abuse itself can consist of: physically hurting or trying to hurt; threatening or promising to harm so that the other person reasonably fears for himself/herself or someone else; sexually assaulting; harassing; stalking; disturbing a person’s peace; or destroying a person’s personal property (including a pet). As you can see from these brief descriptions, domestic violence can be physical and/or verbal and consists of a variety of acts to control, intimidate and harm a person. In sum, you don’t need to have a black eye or broken bones to be the victim of domestic violence; domestic violence can also be psychological.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, there are several steps you can take to get yourself (and your children) out of harm’s way.

First, call 911 and tell the operator about the domestic violence. He/she can send immediate assistance and direct you to your local domestic violence shelter.

Second, try to use phones that are corded landlines because your abuser is less able to spy on your conversations.

Third, use a computer to which the abuser does not have access; if you must use a computer to which the abuser might have access, clear your browsing history after reviewing this or any site discussing domestic violence.

Fourth, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline @ 1-800-799-7233 (TDD: 1-800-787-3224) or visit its web site here: http://www.thehotline.org/ This is a great resource; it can help you find local shelters, legal help and social services programs to get you and your children to a safe place with material resources to survive.

Fifth, teenagers suffering domestic violence from a person he/she is dating can also call the National Teen Dating Helpline @ 1-866-331-9474 or visit its web site here: http://www.loveisrespect.org/

Sixth, anyone who has been raped or subjected to sexual Domestic Violence can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline @ 1-800-656-4673 or visit its web site here: http://rainn.org/index.php

Seventh, use all the above resources to get local help, such as shelter, a local lawyer specializing in domestic violence issues, a family law facilitator, or a domestic violence counselor. These local resources are old hands at dealing with domestic violence and can give you a wealth of knowledge and help.

Eighth, with this local assistance, pursue a restraining order against the perpetrator of domestic violence. If the victim is a child, an adult can apply for the restraining order in his/her behalf.

Though there are different types of restraining orders, they typically order the perpetrator of domestic violence to: stay away from and have no contact with the victim, children, relatives and other people who live with the victim; stay away from certain places, such as your home, workplace and your children’s schools; surrender his/her guns and not buy another gun; obey court orders about custody and visitation; pay child support, spousal and specified bills; stay away from your pets and other personal property; and return specified items of personal property. A perpetrator who violates a restraining order can be fined, jailed or both. The process for obtaining a restraining order varies from state to state but there tend to be basic steps for obtaining one and your local help will know exactly how that is accomplished. Meanwhile, you and your children are safe and supported in an anonymous shelter.



DO’S AND DON’TS


DON’T be intimidated by the people or the process.

DO call 911 and tell the operator about the domestic violence.

DO try to use phones that are corded landlines because your abuser is less able to spy on your conversations.

DO use a computer to which the abuser does not have access or clear your browsing history after reviewing this or any site discussing domestic violence.

DO call the National Domestic Violence Hotline @ 1-800-799-7233 (TDD: 1-800-787-3224) or visit its web site here: http://www.thehotline.org/

DO call the National Teen Dating Helpline @ 1-866-331-9474 or visit its web site here: http://www.loveisrespect.org/

DO call the National Sexual Assault Hotline @ 1-800-656-4673 or visit its web site here: http://rainn.org/index.php

DO use all the above resources to get local help, such as shelter, a local lawyer specializing in domestic violence issues, a family law facilitator, or a domestic violence counselor.

DO, with this local assistance, pursue a restraining order against the perpetrator of domestic violence.


By Kathy Catanzarite

[Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither HandelontheLaw.com, or any of its affiliates, shall have any liability stemming from this article.]



Source: Kathy Catanzarite - Handelonthelaw.com Staff Writer

Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.





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