One of the most unfortunate aspects of family disputes is domestic violence. Throughout Florida, and all across the U.S., domestic violence is a distressing problem. In many cases, domestic violence results from arguments or disagreements that simply get out of hand. In other cases, domestic violence is a chronic problem that, if left unmanaged, can cause serious injuries or can be fatal.
Not only does domestic violence cause physically harm, it is also extremely taxing to the emotions of those involved. The victim of violence and those exposed to it can be emotionally scarred and terrorized. Even in situations where the aggressor promises that the violence will end, sometimes the violence recurs, causing additional harm. For these reasons, Florida law allows the threat of violence to be considered as domestic violence in many cases.
What is Domestic Violence?
There are a several misconceptions about domestic violence. One of the most prevalent is the common notion that domestic violence only occurs between husband and wife. While that is many times the case, there are also a lot of cases of domestic violence that involve two family members, separated unmarried parents, or two individuals who are dating.
Another common misconception is that the accused abuser is always in the wrong, and the court will side with the victim. Both the accused abuser and the victim have legal rights, and should explore them with the help of an experienced attorney. It is not uncommon for one parent to falsely accuse the other of domestic violence in order to earn the favor of the court in child custody cases.
Many people associate domestic violence with lower-income families, or those that have a lower station in life. This stereotype is completely false. Domestic violence happens in families where individuals are living below the poverty level and also happens in families with individuals who are high-ranking military officers or Hollywood celebrities. In short, domestic violence does not discriminate and is a serious problem no matter what your station in life happens to be.
How to Protect Yourself
The moment that a call is made to law enforcement or a domestic violence injunction is filed with the court, the legal system is mobilized. A domestic violence injunction can be filed at the courthouse by anyone who believes that he or she is in imminent danger, known as having “reasonable cause,” and usually begins with a temporary restraining order until a hearing can be scheduled. If the victim has an attorney, a safety plan will be initiated, including restricting any applicable child visitation rights of the alleged abuser, or moving the victim to a safe location if he or she is found to be in imminent danger. Many Florida family law attorneys are equipped with resources to provide shelter and safety for the victim and his or her children until the alleged abuser is arrested, or the case is resolved. When the hearing takes place, the court will then determine if a permanent injunction is needed.
Meet with an experienced Gainesville Family Law Attorney to learn more about domestic violence matters.