Domestic Violence: Knowing Your Rights

by Karla Somers on June 29, 2012

untitled #17(US Law) Domestic violence is a form of abusive behavior that occurs within an intimate relationship. It is a scenario where one spouse administers unwarranted treatment upon the other. If you have ever been in an abusive relationship, it is imperative that you seek legal aid to forestall this trend, especially because the effects of domestic violence go far beyond the physical aspect.

Telltale Signs of Domestic Abuse

There are numerous warning signals that can alert you to a domestic violence situation. For example, if your partner coerces you into engaging in sexual activity against your will, you may be in an abusive relationship. Such a scenario could eventually lead to marital rape, another indication of domestic violence. New Jersey attorneys, Reisig & Associates want you to know these very serious circumstances are considered crimes, and are prosecuted as such, if charges are issued.

Domestic violence also takes the form of emotional abuse. In this case, your partner will repetitively seek to control you psychologically. In the midst of this type of abuse, you will most likely develop low self-esteem. Your spouse may also attempt to isolate you from your family and friends, thus keeping you from discussing valid and serious concerns with outside parties.

In addition to sexual coercion and emotional abuse, other signs of intimate partner misconduct include verbal, economic and physical violence.

Using Your Rights to Prevent Domestic Violence

You can stem an abusive relationship by enlisting the help of criminal or civil lawyers. In the former case, a criminal defense attorney can help you bring the abusive partner to justice. There are many attorneys who specialize in domestic violence that can assist in this regard. For instance, if you live in the tri-state area, a NJ criminal defense lawyer can help you to obtain a temporary restraining order. This order safeguards your right to be protected from violent attacks.

Some abusive spouses threaten their partners with the prospect of taking their children away from them. These threats aim to prevent the abused partner from speaking out and getting help. If you are in such a predicament, it is your right to keep your children. As a parent and victim of domestic violence, it is also your right to take every precaution possible to protect yourself and your children from harm.

If you experience domestic violence, you can also seek compensation for any economic losses incurred. There are numerous compensation hotlines that are on stand-by to make this a possibility. If your case goes to trial, you can apply to gain possession of personal properties you may have had to leave behind when vacating to a safer environment. An experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney, or a lawyer in your area, can advise you throughout this legal process.

Effects of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is the enemy of a happy home. Its effects are traumatizing to everyone involved, and the aftermath is long-term. Months, or even years later, children could experience difficulties in their psychological and developmental progress. Beyond experiencing physical harm or injury, many victims of domestic violence continue to experience high levels of fear, anxiety and stress long after they have been removed from the situation.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs of domestic violence occurrences, endeavor to quell the situation, using legal avenues if necessary. A qualified defense attorney, mediator, counseling center, or a free crisis hotline, are some of the countless ways of getting the help you need to remove yourself and your family from an abusive situation.

Karla M. Somers is a freelance writer, interpersonal relationship expert, and former family mediator for the state of New York. She is a contributing writer for Reisig & Associates, NJ attorneys specializing in the areas of sexual offense, drug charges, domestic violence, juvenile matters, shoplifting, theft, gun offences, the criminal process and expungement.

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