Your home should be one of the safest places available to you where you can relax and spend time with those you love. For those who find themselves in domestic abuse situations, however, your home can be a very dangerous place.
Even worse, the person responsible for that danger is someone who claims they love you.
For those who are experiencing domestic abuse, the most important thing to do is to get out of your home and away from the abuser. Once you are free and safe, you need to keep yourself protect. The best way to do this is by having your abuser tried and convicted in a court of law.
This will not only protect you and your loved ones, but it can help protect others from this abusive person in the future.
As with most cases being tried in a court of law, physical abuse must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This can sometimes be difficult as domestic abuse and violence tend to have few if any witnesses.
Without evidence or witnesses, a domestic abuse case boils down to one person’s word vs. the others. When that happens, the defendant will likely win, as there is reasonable doubt.
That’s why it’s very important the appropriate steps are taken before taking your abuser to court.
Enduring abuse is a horrible situation that no one should have to experience. If you’ve been in an abusive situation, your first instinct probably isn’t preserving evidence. In today’s digitally focused world, however, there tend to be records kept automatically.
One of the best places to start is with your phone and social media.
Don’t delete anything. Threating voicemails and text messages can be vital in establishing the character of the abuser. The same goes for social media messages and posts. It’s best to take screenshots and make copies so that nothing can be deleted or lost.
Pictures of bruises, cuts, and property damage are powerful pieces of evidence that tell the story of the pain you’ve endured. If hospital visits have taken place, make sure to retain copies of the records.
Showing a history of violence is helpful as well. Typically, someone doesn’t suddenly become violent one day. The sad truth is they’ve probably hurt people in the past. Police reports, as well as testimonies from other people can help show this.
It can be very difficult to do, but if you know anyone your abuser formerly had a relationship with, try reaching out to them. The more evidence and testimonies you have, the better.
Even if you ultimately don’t prove domestic abuse, you may still be able to secure a restraining order and protect yourself from further harm. Additionally, there will now be a legal record showing that they’ve been accused of domestic abuse. Should they be tried again, it’s much more likely they’ll be convicted.
Domestic abuse, physical and emotional, is something that affects both genders. Nearly 30% of women and 10% of men experience relational abuse. If you’re one of them, please seek shelter immediately. Call a friend or family member or check into a hotel. If you have children, and you believe their in danger, take them with you.
Once you’re safe, it’s time to start building your case. You will want a lawyer experienced in domestic situations to help guide you through the process so that your abuser is forced to answer for their crimes. For a Springfield attorney who knows how to handle domestic abuse, contact Michael T. Edwards today.