Calling 911 or your local police phone number is your best bet for assistance. Additionally, there are also hospitals and social service agencies available.
Where are Domestic Violence Cases Handled?
There are three types of courts where such cases are deliberated:
- Criminal Court - The abuser is prosecuted by the state
- Civil Court - Lawsuits regarding protective order violations and money damages
- Divorce or Family Court - To deal with child custody and visitation issues
How Do I Obtain a Court Order of Protection?
Contact the local state district attorney or inform the police. They can provide you with guidance and you will have to attend a court hearing. Once in court, you will have the burden of proving you were either abused or threatened with abuse.
How Does a Protective Order Work?
There are a few things you should know to ensure the usefulness of your protective order:
- Address specific safety needs for you and your children
- Contact the police for every violation of the protective order
- Have many copies of the order readily available everywhere you are
Do I Need a Domestic Violence Lawyer?
- Victims of Domestic Violence - First and foremost, it is vital to report any incidents of domestic violence to the local authorities (police) as soon as possible and to remove yourself from the dangerous situation, ideally before you develop battered wife syndrome. Hiring an attorney is also an important tool for your own benefit. Besides informing you of your legal rights and remedies, a lawyer can also assist you in obtaining:
- A Restraining Order to keep the person away from you
- A Restraining Order to remove the person from your household
- A Divorce or legal Separation
- Accused of Domestic Violence - If you are accused of domestic violence, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately. You may be facing serious criminal charges, so it is important to understand your rights.