Get Personal Injury Damages for Your Domestic Violence Case with a Lawyer
Domestic violence can affect people of all backgrounds, but the most common victims are women and children. Some people feel such shame and helplessness about their situations that they do everything they can to keep the abuse a secret. Domestic violence victims might never seek medical damages, never hire a lawyer, refuse to file police reports and even fabricate stories to explain away what really happened.
Unfortunately, should they choose to pursue criminal charges or civil damages against the offender, such former secrecy can make these cases difficult to prove. Even in straightforward cases, social and individual biases can still work against the victims. Hiring an experienced attorney is one of the best ways to overcome these and other obstacles in the courtroom.
What Is Domestic Violence?
This term refers to acts of cruelty and unjust treatment within a household of related individuals or between family members residing at different addresses. Domestic violence cases involving current and past intimate partners often get the most attention. However, brothers, fathers, daughters and even in-laws may commit violent acts against someone related.
It is also important to note that what counts as cruel and unjust treatment varies among jurisdictions. Discrepancies between states are especially common in cases involving sex offenses.
What Are Some Types of Domestic Violence?
These are some of the most common types of domestic violence for which victims pursue personal injury damages with a lawyer. Note that only an experienced attorney can confirm whether a specific type of domestic violence can lead to criminal charges or civil litigation in your jurisdiction.
Assault and battery are the most common types of abuse people are familiar with. Any type of physical force used against victims falls into this category. Even forcing someone to partake in nonsexual activities they do not consent to may count as domestic violence, such as forcing a person to drink or take drugs.
The most controversial form of domestic violence is sexual abuse. It is especially controversial when it involves minors. When it involves married parties and other romantic partners, courts often struggle to determine how to define consent, when consent is given and even whether or when it can be revoked.
Emotionally abusive people most often attack their victims’ self-worth, so they feel more dependent on the abuser to survive. Attacks can include public humiliation, insults and even threats. Some jurisdictions do require victims to prove another type of abuse in addition to this to bring a domestic violence suit for emotional abuse.
Psychological abuse zones in more specifically on controlling behavior that creates fear in the victims. Victims may need permission to speak to family members or might not even be allowed to leave the home. Emotional blackmail and stalking can also fit into this category. An experienced attorney can help you better distinguish between this and other types of abuse.
As early as 2010, Forbes published an article explaining how financial dependency kept women in abusive relationships. Several more recent articles have confirmed this trend. Many people initially believed it was because the man was the breadwinner; however, newer sources point to financial abuse even when the women are the breadwinners. Minors, young adults and men can also find themselves in this position.
What Resources Are Available to DV Victims?
The good news is that there is a wealth of resources women and children can take advantage of once they take the first step to leave an abusive relationship or household. Unfortunately, leaving is the hard part. You might still struggle with feelings of loyalty and uncertainty about your ability to care for yourself. If you have a child with your abuser, this could complicate things even more.
Here are some resources you can look into. Note that there are more resources for women and children than men.
One of the most crucial steps for climbing out of a domestic violence situation is having independent resources. If you get your money via direct deposit, you can ask your boss to split your check so that a portion of it goes to a separate private account. You will need to cover your tracks well to pull this off.
There are several counseling resources you can consider. However, it is important to note that most states require doctors, social workers and psychiatrists to report any suspicion they have of domestic violence in a home. This could lead to an investigation before you are in a good position to leave. Consider anonymous online services. You can disclose your identity later if you so choose.
There are many shelters solely dedicated to taking in women and children victims. Not many accept men, but some do. Shelters provide food and clothing and can help you get your life back on track. Several of these charitable organizations also help to keep you hidden for as long as possible, while you create your new life. Another good option is the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It can put you in contact with additional resources.
Sometimes it is possible to pursue a protective order even while living in the same home as the abuser, though this can be dangerous. Different jurisdictions follow their own processes for how to get a protective order and what criteria you need to meet. They do not guarantee abusers will stay away, but they offer some peace of mind.
How Can an Experienced Local Domestic Violence Lawyer Help?
Domestic violence cases fall into a touchy area, whether you pursue criminal charges or civil penalties. There have been many cases of judges blatantly refusing to believe the allegations despite overwhelming evidence, often because the other person is an “upstanding” member of the community. If your abuser is a police officer, military professional or wealthy person, you might find yourself in this position.
An experienced attorney increases your chance of presenting a solid case that no judge or jury can turn a blind to. Not all personal injury attorneys are willing to take on domestic violence cases, but we can match you with one who does. Submit a request online or call us today at 866-345-6784 to get in touch with an attorney in your area.