Stop the Abuse: 4 Steps to Take If You Are the Victim of Domestic Violence

Serving Clients Throughout Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa Counties

Domestic abuse is an issue that affects our society as a whole. For example, a woman is abused every 9 seconds. As many as 1 in 3 women have been in an abusive relationship – and the same holds true for 1 in 4 men. Each year, up to 20 million people are abused by an intimate partner – a number that translates into 20 people every minute.

Here at the Carroll Law Office, we treat the issue of domestic abuse and dating violence with the utmost seriousness – whether the victims are women or men. If you have fallen prey to an abusive partner, please contact us without delay. We really are able to help. At the same time, we realize that taking the step to open up about your problem and take legal action against your abuser might be extremely difficult for you. We hope that the information you find in this article will help you gather the courage and strength to do so and break the vicious cycle of abuse. Below, we present 4 helpful steps you can take if you are a victim of domestic violence.

Know That You Are Not to Blame

Trying to make you feel that you’re in any way responsible for the abuse you’re experiencing is a vicious lie the abuser may try to perpetuate to justify themselves, maintain control over you, and keep the cycle going. You need to learn to see any such attempts for what they really are – malicious, dangerous lies. The truth is, whatever your actions or the dynamics of your relationship, nothing can justify violence. The abuse simply isn’t your fault.

Don’t Justify the Abuser

Since the violence and abuse come from a person with whom the victim is in a close relationship – and often romantically involved with – he or she may have very conflicting, difficult feelings towards the abuser. On an intellectual level, a victim may understand that there is no place for violence in any kind of a close relationship. On the other hand, because of the emotional involvement, they may try to look for excuses for the abuser’s behavior. However, resisting the temptation to justify the abuse can be the first step to breaking the vicious cycle.

Document the Abuse

While you may not feel ready to take any legal action against your abuser immediately after the incident, reporting the abuse in the future may become an urgent necessity. Therefore, try to document the abuse the best you can. Take pictures of bruises and wounds. Save abusive communication that took place via text messages or on social media. Write down the details of the incident. By doing so, you will preserve the authenticity of your potential domestic violence claim.

Talk to a Trusted Friend

Even though talking to the authorities is the best way of obtaining help and protection, it may be difficult for you to do so, especially if the abuse has lasted for some time. You may feel ashamed, fear that no one will believe you, or think that you will be misjudged. While it is understandable to feel this way, please be aware that none of these scenarios are going to happen. The police and other appropriate authorities or organizations treat the allegations of domestic abuse and dating violence extremely seriously. You will be taken care of with the respect, compassion, and dignity that you deserve.

In order to gain the courage and strength to talk to the police or an abuse prevention agency, you may need to talk to a trusted friend first. While doing so, try to describe what happened to you and how you feel about it. This may take a great weight off your shoulders. At the same time, a trusted friend will comfort you, boost your self-confidence, and likely help you take the necessary steps to put an end to the pattern of abuse.

We Offer Legal Help For Domestic Violence Victims

The attorneys at the Carroll Law Office are ready to help you. We provide safe space for domestic abuse and violence victims and a protected environment where you’ll feel comfortable talking about your problems. Our attorneys have extensive experience with obtaining and defending restraining orders for domestic violence victims. If you would like to discuss your legal needs with us, call us today at 707-536-1156 or contact us through our website.

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