Domestic Violence

 

For Those to be Protected

 

Domestic violence is the physical, sexual or mental/emotional abuse of someone, typically by a spouse, romantic partner, ex-romantic partner, parent, sibling, child, or other family member. Domestic violence also includes harassment with or without other forms of abuse, as well as threats to do harm. If you, your children or other family member is in need of protection from someone who has committed domestic violence, we are here to help you. With compassion, sensitivity and determination, we will assist you in getting orders that ensure your safety, and/or the safety of your loved ones, as well as orders for spousal and/or child support, child custody and visitation orders and attorney’s fees orders, when needed.

 

Important tips

If you are experiencing domestic abuse of any kind, be proactive about maintaining your well-being and that of your loved-ones:

 

  • Get court orders that protect you as soon as possible.
  • If you feel your safety is at risk, call 911 immediately. Tell law enforcement what is happening and ask for an Emergency Protective Order.
  • Use your answering machine or voicemail to screen all calls and do not erase any messages from the perpetrator or from anyone delivering messages on his or her behalf.
  • Do not throw away or erase any correspondence, including e-mails, text messages, letters and notes, from the perpetrator or those communicating on his or her behalf.
  • Keep a journal of any and all instances of abuse/harassment which includes, to the best of your ability, details of the incident(s), such as what was said or done, and dates and times of any and all incidents. Include, as well, the names of any witnesses.
  • Be aware that if you decide to reconcile with the perpetrator and/or withdraw your application for a domestic violence protection order, it will be harder to obtain one in the future, if needed.

 

For Those Who Are Accused

 

Sometimes people are falsely accused of domestic violence. There are various reasons for this including drug or alcohol abuse or mental instability on the part of the accuser, a desire for attention or revenge on the part of the accuser or the desire to get the upper-hand in a court case, often in custody cases.

 

If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, we can help. We will fight to ensure that your record stays clear and that access to your children and property, when relevant, is secured.

 

If you have participated in conduct that could be construed as domestic violence by the court, we will defend you. We work hard to make sure that your rights are protected and that any court orders issued are fair and reasonable.

 

Important tips

  • Do not contact your accuser in any way, shape or form, including, but not limited to in person, by letter, text, e-mail, phone or via messages carried by another party. Do not respond to any attempts to communicate by your accuser. Be aware that by doing so, you will be in violation if there exists a temporary restraining order against you and you will go to jail. Further, your accuser may be recording any attempts by you to communicate with him or her that may be later used against you. The advice not to communicate with your accuser stands even if your accuser states that he or she wishes to drop the application for a restraining order against you or wants to reconcile with you.

  • Use your answering machine or voicemail to screen all calls and do not erase any messages from your accuser or from anyone delivering messages on his or her behalf.
  • Do not throw away or erase any correspondence, including e-mails, text messages, letters and notes, from your accuser or those communicating on his or her behalf.

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