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Unfortunately, at some point many families experience domestic violence issues. Some families experience domestic violence and do not even know it. Other families experience domestic violence continuously and don’t know how or are afraid to get out of the situation.
Domestic Violence is broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in a domestic relationship. A relationship is considered domestic if it is between family members, romantic partners, or the parents of a child.
Abuse can be physical, economic, sexual, psychological, or emotional actions or threats of actions. This includes any behaviors that hurt, frighten, humiliate, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, or blame someone. One is considered to have suffered from abuse if they have been a victim of physical aggression such as kicking, shoving, biting, hitting, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, or threats thereof. Abuse is not limited to physical actions. Sexual or emotional abuse, intimidation, neglect, controlling or domineering behavior, stalking, and even economic deprivation are also considered abuse.
You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive, monitors your whereabouts at all times and tries to isolate you from friends and family, calls you names or continually criticizes you or calls you names, punishes you by withholding affection, doesn’t want you to work, controls finances, refuses to share money, or punishes you by withholding money, or requires you to ask permission to do things.
You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner views insults you in sexual ways, forces you into having sex or performing sexual acts, demanded sex while you were sick or after physically abusing you, involves other people in sexual activities with you, hurt you with weapons or other objects during sex, ignores your feelings about sex.
If one is a victim of Domestic violence, they may seek future protection by filing an Application for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
A Domestic violence restraining order is basically a legal injunction that requires a party to do or not do certain acts. The length of the order and the scope of protection is determined by the court. One who refuses to comply with a domestic violence restraining order will face criminal or civil penalties and possibly, prison sentences. A domestic violence restraining order obtained through the family courts is different from a criminal restraining order or criminal protective order.
Before one may file a request for a Domestic violence restraining order, two requirements must be met:
1. There must be a domestic relationship
2. The filing party must have suffered abuse
Children who are also victims of the domestic violence will also be protected by the restraining order. Even in situations where the children aren’t victims, if the court orders a restraining order against a parent, the restrained parent’s rights to their children will be severely affected because there’s an automatic presumption against them as a result.
False accusations of abuse:
Unfortunately, sometimes people are falsely accused of being abusive. False accusations occur most commonly in situations where a relationship has ended badly or when one party is attempting to gain an advantage in a child custody proceeding.
Being falsely accused of abuse is one of the most devastating situations one can face. It has the potential to ruin not only one’s reputation, but also to interfere with one’s freedom, employment, time and relationship with their children, and other areas of life.
***Falsely accusing one of abuse is wrong and can have serious consequences. One can be punished criminally, be subject to civil liability, and can even lose custody of their children.