By: Aarti Bhaga, Esq.
1) If an act of domestic violence occurs against you, call the police and report it. More often than not, domestic violence goes unreported; 9 out of 10 cases of domestic violence are never reported, according to Emerge! Center Against Domestic Violence in Tucson. Additionally, victims choose to remain in abusive relationships. According to the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA of Arizona), victims remain in abusive relationships for the following reasons:
- Despite the abuse, they love their husband/partner.
- Hope things will get better.
- They grew up in a similar environment and feel "this is how things are" (the term for this is "learned helplessness").
- Emotionally dependent on the abuser.
- Financially dependent on the abuser.
- Low self-esteem.
- They don't want anyone to know because there is considerable social stigma attached to domestic violence.
- Religious beliefs keep them from leaving.
- They are afraid of what the abuser will do after they leave.
- Want their children to have a father.
- Deny being abused because they are afraid to make the changes necessary to break out of the pattern.
Here at Owens & Perkins, Attorneys at Law, we encourage you to speak up and do something about domestic violence.
2) Protect yourself. If an act of domestic violence has occurred against you, meet with one of our family law attorneys to determine if you should file for an Order of Protection.
Furthermore, if the accused is charged with committing domestic violence against you, request your victim's rights and trigger the protection of Arizona's Victims’ Bill of Rights.
3) Talk to us. Learn how being the victim of domestic violence can impact your child custody case.
Steps to take if you are accused of committing an act of domestic violence:
1) Do not speak to the police without talking to a lawyer first. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you.
2) Protect yourself. If an Order of Protection is filed against you, consult with one of our family law attorneys prior to requesting a hearing on the Order of Protection.
If you are charged with committing domestic violence, hire one of our criminal lawyers to defend you.
3) Talk to us. Learn about the consequences of domestic violence allegations in context of your child custody case.
Owens & Perkins provides legal representation in the areas of family law, criminal, DUI, probate, trust administration and trust litigation. If you would like to schedule a 30-minute free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers in any of those areas, please call (480) 630-2464.
For more information about filing an Order of Protection or defending against one, please see Part 2 of my blog (coming soon).
For more information about being the victim of a domestic violence-related crime or defending against domestic violence charges, please see Part 3 of my blog (coming soon).
For more information about the impact of domestic violence allegations in your child custody case, please see Part 4 of my blog (coming soon).