New York Family Law Group

Steps To Take If You Are Experiencing Domestic Violence

Last updated on September 18, 2023

Domestic violence continues to be a significant concern in modern society. Although most domestic violence cases involve sexual and physical violence, many involve psychological and emotional abuse. These variations of abuse can limit you from seeking the help you need to stay safe and live a life free of abuse.

In cases of domestic abuse, it is particularly important to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law and has experience dealing with issues of domestic violence. At New York Family Law Group, our New York family law attorneys can provide crucial legal guidance and support for victims of domestic violence. If you are facing abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out to our compassionate team. Call us at (347) 212-5113 to schedule a consultation.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, it is essential to take action to prevent the situation from escalating. Here are critical steps to take if you are experiencing domestic abuse.

1. Report to the Police or Authorities

Most people who are seriously injured or die as a result of domestic violence have encountered domestic abuse before. However, most of these victims hesitate to get the help required to prevent the situation from escalating. If you have experienced domestic violence and believe that your well-being, health, or life is in imminent danger, contact the police immediately.

You can call national, state, or local helplines to find directions to a safe space or get strategies or advice to overcome the situation. For instance, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can provide the resources you need to protect yourself and prevent the problem from worsening.

The police or authorities should respond to the distress call and ensure that the victim’s safety is not compromised in the future.

2. Document Everything

Evidence is essential when you want to establish a strong domestic violence case. Although it can be painful to do so, you should try to document as much as possible about the situation. If you are in a position, record an audio or video or take a photo of what is happening.

Recording abusive and threatening calls or voicemails can help your lawyer establish a strong case against your abuser. Recorded documentation can also help you easily recall what happened during court proceedings.

3. Get Legal Representation

While you can file and receive a restraining or occupational order against your abuser alone, it is better to handle the matter with the help of a New York domestic violence lawyer. At New York Family Law Group, we have years of experience helping domestic violence victims secure the required retraining orders.

4. Seek Therapy

Nothing can prepare you mentally for domestic violence’s mental and physical outcomes. Most victims ultimately suffer from stress, depression, general emotional distress, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Consider visiting a licensed therapist to get the support you need to overcome the abusive situation.

Critical Steps to Take if You Are Experiencing Domestic Abuse Description
Report to the Police or Authorities Contact the police or authorities immediately if you believe your wellbeing, health, or life is in imminent danger due to domestic violence.
Document Everything Record and document evidence of domestic violence, such as audio, video, or photos, to establish a strong case and aid in court proceedings.
Get Legal Representation Seek assistance from a domestic violence lawyer to handle the legal aspects of your case and obtain necessary restraining orders.
Seek Therapy Visit a licensed therapist to receive support and address the mental and emotional effects of domestic violence, such as stress and depression.

What Does Domestic Violence Have to Do with Custody Disputes

A judge can decide for you if you and your spouse cannot agree on custody arrangements. A judge can also decide that a custody arrangement may not be in the best interest of children even if a couple has agreed to it. In essence, the most crucial question that a court must answer is “What’s in the best interest of the children?”

Although courts don’t require judges to review a checklist of factors when making custody decisions, the statute requires them to take into account domestic abuse. Other forms of violence that are detrimental to the spouse or former partners will be considered by the court.

New York State law defines domestic violence in a very specific way. The victim of abuse must be able to comprehend it. There are many crimes that can be committed and can be used for support of a family violence case, but the victim must be the individual against whom the domestic abuse orders are made. This can be:

  • Blood relatives
  • Their spouse
  • A person they share an intimate relationship with?

An NYC attorney can assess a case of domestic violence and help to determine the impact on their children’s custody arrangements.

Do abusers change?

Many professionals agree that it’s possible for abusive partners to change their behavior. However, insincere promises to change often trap victims in abusive relationships. So how can one discern a genuine commitment to change from an empty pledge? 

When examining the reasons behind abusive behavior, it becomes clear that many contributing factors include ingrained attitudes and a sense of entitlement and privilege. These are extremely challenging to modify. Consequently, a very small percentage of abusers genuinely alter their behavior. Part of this transformation might involve the abusive partner voluntarily participating in a certified batterer intervention program that emphasizes behavior, introspection, and accountability. 

Manhattan domestic violence attorney

According to research, there are several signs of progress in your partner that might suggest they’re genuinely working on their recovery: 

  • Fully acknowledging their abusive actions
  • Refraining from making excuses and shifting blame
  • Making efforts to rectify their wrongs
  • Taking accountability and acknowledging that abuse is a deliberate decision.
  • Identifying patterns of their controlling behavior
  • Recognizing the mindsets that drive their abuse
  • Understanding that overcoming abusiveness is a process that spans decades, rather than declaring themselves instantly “cured”
  • Avoiding seeking validation or accolades for the progress they have made
  • Refraining from using their improvements as a justification for occasional abusive behavior (e.g., dismissing it with statements like “I haven’t acted like this in a while, so it’s not a big deal”)
  • Developing behaviors that are respectful, supportive, and kind
  • Equitably sharing responsibilities and power
  • Altering their reaction to their partner’s (or ex-partner’s) anger and complaints
  • Modifying their conduct during heated disagreements
  • Facing the consequences of their actions without self-pity and without placing blame on their partner or children

When it comes to the question of whether abusers can change, seeking professional guidance is crucial. Consulting a New York family law attorney can provide the necessary legal support and guidance you need in navigating this complex issue.

How New York Domestic Violence Lawyers Can Help

Domestic violence cases entail gathering sufficient evidence and involve complex laws. At New York Family Law Group, we will help you put the case together to have the best chances of achieving the desired outcome. Contact us online or give us a call at (347) 212-5113 for more details and schedule a consultation with a New York domestic violence attorney.



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