When domestic violence is present in a marriage, that marriage needs to end. It is not a healthy environment for either of the partners or their children. Individuals who live in abusive households often suffer permanent physical and psychological injuries. Sometimes, these injuries lead to permanent disabilities or premature death.

If you feel you are in immediate danger of violence, call 911. Your safety should always be your top priority. Concern yourself with ending the marriage and establishing an order of protection later – your primary goal should always to be safe from violence.

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What to Do if you are a Domestic Violence Victim

After safely leaving the household or having your abuser removed from the home, start working with an experienced family lawyer to establish an order of protection and begin the process of ending the marriage.

An order of protection, also known as a restraining order, is a court order that prohibits an individual from contacting the individual who petitioned for the order. An order of protection can include specific requirements for an alleged abuser, such as requiring him or her to surrender any firearms he or she owns and prohibiting any contact, direct or indirect, with the party who sought the order.

An order of protection can be entered in family court or in criminal court. Orders entered in the context of domestic violence and divorce are handled in family court. An individual may obtain an order of protection against a:

  • Current or former spouse;
  • Individual with whom he or she has a child;
  • Any relative by marriage or blood; and
  • Any individual with whom he or she has or had an intimate relationship.

Seek medical treatment for any physical injuries you suffered and mental healthcare treatment for the psychological and emotional effects of domestic violence. Domestic violence is more than just physical harm. It can often involve belittling, humiliating, and closely monitoring the victim in an effort to exert control over him or her.

When you are Accused of Domestic Violence

You have legal rights, such as the right to work with a lawyer to fight the charge. Until your charge is dismissed, though, you must follow any orders of protection entered against you precisely. Violating an order of protection is an act of contempt of court and can be charged as a Class E misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor, or even a felony, depending on the nature of the violation. Individuals found guilty of violating protection orders can face fines and jail time.

Work with an Experienced Schoharie County Family Lawyer

If you have questions about domestic violence or need representation to defend your case against a domestic violence accusation, work with one of the experienced family lawyers at The Colwell Law Group. Our team has experience working with individuals on both sides of this issue and can utilize this experience to help you effectively. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.

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