Tuesday, November 14, 2006

#17 Domestic Violence.

By Attorney Terry Ray Bankert 810 235-1970
Divorce, Custody, Child Support, Alimony, Child Neglect, Flint Michigan USA Lawyer.

Articles on Divorce and lawyers in Flint, Genesee County Michigan USA

Do you need help now? Call 810 235-1970 !

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is defined a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation.

This is accomplished by:

physical violence
isolation from friends and family
verbal abuse( belittlement, taunting)
intimidation (destroying property, abusing pets, displaying firearms)
economic abuse ( controlling access to money,
preventing or interfering with employment)
coercion ( threatening to commit suicide or to report incidents to protective services)
use of the children ( harrassment during parenting time, threatening to kidnap the children)sexual abuse

Domestic violence occurs when one household member chooses to use a pattern of physical assaults, threats of violence and emotional abuse to maintain power and control over another.

All 50 states have statutes authorizing courts to issue orders of protection to domestic violence victems.

In Michigan, a victem of domestic violence may obtain a personal protection order (PPO) to enjoin abusive behavior. PPOs may enjoin specific actions such as assulting, attacking, beating, molesting, stalking, or wounding the petitioner. In addition they may be prohibited from entering specific premises usually including the petitioners home and place of employment.

They may also prohibit the removal of minor children from the legal custodian, purchasing or possessiong firearm and any other act that interferes with the petitioners personal liberty or that causes a reasonable apprehension of violence.

Knowing the definition of domestic violence can help you take action against it.

What kind of behavior is considered domestic violence?

Domestic violence can take a number of forms, including: physical behavior (slapping, punching, pulling hair or shoving) forced or coerced sexual acts or behavior (unwanted fondling or intercourse, or sexual jokes and insults) threats (threatening to hit, harm or use a weapon) psychological abuse (attacks on self-esteem, attempts to control or limit another person's behavior, repeated insults or interrogation) stalking (following a person, appearing at a person's home or workplace, making repeated phone calls or leaving written messages), or cyberstalking (repeated online action or email that causes substantial emotional distress).

Typically, many kinds of abuse go on at the same time in a household. Are PPO’s ( Personal Protection Orders) available only when the abuser is a spouse?No, the victim of an abusive live-in lover can obtain a PPO or emergency protective order.

In a few states, the victim of any adult relative, an abusive lover (non-live-in) or even a roommate can obtain such an order.

To learn about your state's rule, contact a local crisis intervention center, social service organization or battered women's shelter.

Domestic Violence: Taking ActionSuggestions to help you stop domestic violence.

If I leave, how can I make sure the abuser won't come near me again?

The most powerful legal tool for stopping domestic violence is the temporary restraining order (PPO).

A PPO is a decree issued by a court that requires the perpetrator to stop abusing you. The order may require, for example, that the perpetrator stay away from the family home, where you work or go to school, your children's school and other places you frequent (such as a particular church).

The order will also prohibit further acts of violence. In Genesee County MI go to the 2nd floor of the County Court House and The Genesee County Clerk has a special office to help you fill out a PPO.

Domestic Violence: Taking Action

In my community, judges don't issue PPO after 5 p.m. How can I get protection?Contact your local police department.How can I help my domestic violence case?

Many people go to court on their own to obtain a PPO. Some people go the very first time they are abused, while others wait until they can't live with it any longer -- sometimes for many years. What some fail to understand is that, despite the social awareness and sympathy surrounding domestic violence, the decision to grant a restraining order is based on law and legal process.

Because of this, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of succeeding in court. Police Reports. You should call the police if you feel threatened or have been a victim of violence. This is important for your physical safety, but it will also help your case in court.

The police must file a report documenting the incident whether you seek a restraining order or not. If you go to court for that particular episode or a future one, you get a copy of the report from the police station and take it to court. Photographs. Whether or not the police take pictures of any injuries, you should have a friend or family member do the same. (Police photos don't always make their way from the police file to the judge's courtroom in time for a restraining order hearing.) Ask your friend to take approximately ten pictures -- and be sure that she or he photographs your injuries from different angles, using both outdoor and indoor light. It's also important to photograph any property damage. Take pictures, for example, of any broken furniture, unhinged doors or holes in walls that resulted from the violence.

Domestic Violence: Taking Action

When you go to court dress as if you were going to a job interview. If this isn't an option for you, just be as neat and well-groomed as possible. Don't ever interrupt the judge while she is speaking.

This is the golden rule. No matter what she's saying, wait until she's through. Interrupting or arguing is a surefire way to prejudice that judge against you. When she's finished, you should politely ask permission to speak. Don't interrupt the opposing party. No matter what verbal concoction your opponent is spewing, he or she has the right to speak freely. Know that you will get your chance to explain or deny what's been said. Don't make faces of disgust or shake your head in disbelief during the proceedings. Also, try not to jump up and down if the judge decides in your favor. Very rarely does the decision rendered please everyone. It's best to adopt a professional demeanor and save the anger or celebration for private moments.

Domestic Violence: Taking Action

What should I do once I have a PPO?Register it with the police located in the communities in which the abuser has been ordered to stay away from you -- where you live, work, attend school or church and where you children go to school. Call the appropriate police stations for information about how to register your order.

What if the abuse continues even if I have a PPO?Obviously, a piece of paper cannot stop an enraged spouse or lover from acting violent, although many times it is all the deterrent the person needs. If the violence continues, contact the police. They can take immediate action and are far more willing to intervene when you have a PPO than when you don't. Of course, if you don't have a PPO or it has expired, you should also call the police , domestic violence is a crime and you don't have to have a PPO for the police to investigate.

The police should respond to your call by sending out officers. In the past, police officers were reluctant to arrest abusers, but this has changed in many communities where victims' support groups have worked with police departments to increase the number of arrests. You can press criminal charges at the police department, and ask for criminal prosecution. Documentation is crucial if you want to go this route.

Be sure to insist that the officer responding to your call makes an official report. Also, get the report's prospective number before the officer leaves the premises. If you do press charges, keep in mind that only the district attorney decides whether or not to prosecute. If you don't press charges, however, the chance is extremely low that the district attorney will pursue the matter.

Domestic Violence: Civil Liability Information to help you take legal action against your abuser. Can I sue the abuser for my injuries?Possibly.

When one person injures another in some way, that act is called a "tort." The person injured by the tort may sue the wrongdoer for damages. Legally, torts are known as civil (as opposed to criminal) wrongs. But some acts of domestic violence, such as battery, may be both torts and crimes; the wrongdoer may face both civil and criminal penalties. One now famous example of a civil case is Goldman v. Simpson, in which Ron Goldman's parents sued O.J. Simpson for their son's death. Because Mr. Simpson was acquitted in the criminal trial, the Goldmans sued for money damages in civil court and won.

Domestic violence refers to physical harm inflicted on one member of a household or family, by another member of the same household or family (usually between spouses).

Domestic violence (sometimes called "spousal abuse") usually involves repetitive physical and psychological abuse, and a "cycle of violence".

Specific crimes charged vary based on 1) severity of the victim's injuries, 2) whether a minor was present, and 3) whether a protective or restraining order was violated.

Domestic Violence
Q : Do protective orders actually protect the victim of domestic violence?
A : In many cases, yes. Studies have shown that issuing a protective order or arresting a person who commits an act of domestic violence does reduce future incidents of domestic violence.

When perpetrators of domestic violence see that the police and court system will treat domestic violence seriously, many persons who commit domestic violence may be deterred from future violence.

But orders of protection are not guarantees of protection or safety.

For some individuals with intense anger or rage, no court order will stop their violence, and a court order might even add to the rage. Newspapers periodically carry stories of women murdered by their husband or boyfriend despite numerous arrests and orders of protection.

The legal system cannot offer perfect protection, although it can reduce violence. Domestic Violence

Q : Where does one turn for help in cases of domestic violence?
A : In a crisis situation, a call to the police is a good place to start. Many people complain that police do not take accusations of domestic violence seriously.

That can be true in some circumstances, but on the whole, police are treating domestic violence situations more seriously, and police officers are receiving increased training on the subject.

The Genesee County Prosecutors office also may be able to offer some help. An increasing number of hospitals, crisis intervention programs, and social service agencies have programs to help victims of domestic violence. Agencies offering help in cases of domestic violence might be found in the Yellow Pages under "Domestic Violence Help," "Human Services Organizations," or "Crisis Intervention."

By Attorney Terry Ray Bankert 810 235-1970
Divorce, Custody, Child Support, Alimony, Child Neglect, Flint Michigan USA Lawyer.
Articles on Divorce and lawyers in Flint, Genesee County Michigan USA

Do you need help now? Call 810 235-1970 !

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