Published On: Fri, Apr 7th, 2017

How to Escape Domestic Violence

If you are one of the victims of domestic violence or abuse, then you should know that you have the right to obtain legal protections that can offer you safe spaces and other options for pursuing other charges against the abuser. There are a couple of steps you should follow if you find yourself in such a situation:

  1. Obtain a restraining order.

One of the first things you should ask the lawyer to help you with is obtaining a restraining order, which is also called a protective order or an injunction. This will protect you from your abuser, making them stop the abusive behaviors under a court order, leave your home (and/or pay temporary child support), stop contacting or approaching you.

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The restraining order can be temporary, which means it’s for 15 days, period in which your abuser doesn’t have the right to contact you at all (this measure is taken in extremely dangerous situations), or on the long-term: 1, 3, 6 months or for the rest of your life, depending on the circumstances.

2. File for custody and divorce.

Besides getting a restraining order, you can also ask a divorce lawyer to help you out with filing the right papers for custody and divorce. Usually, in such situations, you have more chances of getting the custody. However, in some places, such as in Los Angeles, you can only get a divorce if your marriage is “irretrievably broken”, and you abuser may say that it is not the case. If this happens, your lawyer can help you with clearing up things.

3. File a lawsuit.

If your abuser caused you to suffer physically and/or mentally, the lawyer can help you file a civil lawsuit against them. You can even receive some financial compensation for the damages, but this depends on certain factors:

  • Employment or lost wages because of your abuser, if you missed work
  • Physical and emotional pain
  • Medical bills for physical trauma that occurred following the abuse
  • If the case allows punishment in the form of financial penalties etc.

With the help of your lawyer you can document and prove all of the above, if that’s the case. There are even some honorable lawyers who take up domestic abuse cases and help you for free, or you can just pay them a contingent fee if and only if you win in court. This is particularly helpful if you know you don’t have enough financial resources to take this road for justice, and it happens more often than you might believe.

The most important thing if you find yourself in an abusive relationship is to ask for help or call the special numbers from state institutions.

Author: Lolita Di

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