Domestic violence, also known as partner abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, elder abuse or battering, occurs when one person uses force to inflict injury, either emotional or physical, upon another person they have, or had, a relationship with.
Domestic Violence isn’t just physical. It also covers threats, emotional abuse, harassment, and stalking that a party does in an attempt to control someone else’s behavior. The abuse can be directed against various parties, including spouses and partners, children, parents, grandparents, and other relatives. Victims can be any age, race, or gender.
Some Examples of Domestic Violence Are:
- Striking or hitting
- Beating and or Punching
- Hair pulling
- Excessive pushing or throwing a person to the ground
- Putting someone in fear for their safety or life
- Inappropriate or unwanted sexual comments
- Forced or unwanted sexual acts or advances
- Physical assault and rape
- Child endangerment (when child witnesses the violence)
- Physical child abuse
- Emotional child abuse
- Sexual child abuse
Domestic Violence Against Women
Domestic Violence is commonly directed against women. It is the single largest cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, rapes and muggings combined. Between 2 and 4 million women are battered each year, sadly 2000 of these women will die of their injuries.
Endangerment and Domestic Violence Against Children
Children experience domestic violence, either directly or indirectly. When a child is the victim of physical striking, verbal abuse, threats, or sexual misconduct, domestic violence charges apply.
However, children do not have to be the direct recipients of the violence but only have to be present during the abuse for child endangerment charges to be justified. Child endangerment is the abuse a child suffers when witnessing domestic violence.
What to Do If You Are a Victim
If you’re a victim of domestic violence, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency. Protection can be sought using one of the following means, including:
- Emergency Protective Order
Emergency protective orders usually arise in situations of police responding to domestic violence calls. A police officer can call a judge at any time and request the emergency protective order if the officer feels it is necessary to prevent imminent harm. An emergency protective order only lasts a short amount of time, usually less than a week, and its purpose is to provide protection and give a victim time to apply for a restraining order.
- Temporary Restraining Order
A temporary restraining order is issued when a victim applies for a restraining order. Its purpose is to provide the victim protection until a hearing can be held and a restraining order can be issued. It also lasts only a short period of time, usually less than a month.
- Permanent Restraining Order
A permanent restraining order can be issued once a hearing has been held, and it can be in effect for up to a set number of years in some jurisdictions. Permanent restraining orders can be renewed or extended if the victim is still in danger of being subjected to abusive or harassing behavior when the order expires.
If a restraining order is granted, the victim should make numerous copies of the order and keep a copy with them at all times. They should also leave a copy of the order at their place of employment, and their children’s school or daycare. If an abuser or harasser violates the restraining order, they are violating the law and the police should be contacted immediately.
The attorneys at Parra Harris Law are here to help you get the justice and peace of mind that you deserve. Contact us today.