Do I Need a Lawyer for Domestic Violence?
Physical or verbal abuse between family members is unfortunately quite common, and it's estimated that 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 4 men will experience physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner sometime in their lives. Over 10 million people each year are victims of domestic violence, and only a portion of those will seek legal help. While there are many great resources out there for domestic violence survivors, including phone hotlines and shelters, often reaching out to an attorney is one of the best things you can do.
If you are being abused by a domestic partner, it's important that you try your best to stay safe, especially if you have children. Take advantage of the resources available to you, but don't forget to seek legal counsel and representation too. Here's why that is a wise move:
1. They know the laws in California
Often, abuse victims aren't sure if what they're experiencing actually legally counts as abuse, and this can prevent them from finding help. A qualified domestic violence attorney will understand the laws, what actions constitute as violent, and what kinds of charges can be brought against the abuser.
2. They can connect you to other help
Lawyers that work in family law and domestic violence are connected to a wide network of resources for victims, and can assist you in getting the other, non-legal aid that you need. Ask your attorney about local organizations that can help you with childcare, healthcare, finances and more.
3. They can file restraining orders
If you are being stalked, threatened, or abused, filing a restraining order can be a good initial step towards your safety. You will need a lawyer to do this for you, so don't hesitate to find one as soon as possible. This will give you space to breathe, and time to come up with the best next steps for your situation.
4. They can help you end the relationship
When you are married or have children with your domestic partner, it may feel extremely difficult to leave that relationship, even when it is abusive. A good attorney can help you create a strong case for a divorce or legal separation, and help you fight for custody of your children, so you can look forward to a brighter future.