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Victims of domestic violence should seek Court intervention promptly otherwise the domestic violence will continue unabated. If children are involved, a finding of domestic violence must be considered by the Court in determining parenting time and legal decision making authority. Protect yourself and your children by contacting an attorney.
Courts will absolutely not tolerate child abuse, abuse of drugs in the presence of children, violation of any statute involving children such as driving while under the influence with a child in the vehicle.
Spousal abuse, commonly referred to as domestic violence, is equally prohibited and not tolerated by the Courts. The first element of domestic violence is that there must be a relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. Husband and wife or former marriage between the persons; a romantic or sexual relationship; persons residing with each other or having resided together in the past; parties having a child in common or if one of the parties is pregnant by the other party; if there is a family relationship by blood, all constitute a required relationship to establish a finding of domestic violence.
The second element of domestic violence is that a prohibited act has occurred that the legislature has declared to constitute domestic violence. Certain acts are obvious acts of domestic violence such as assault, kidnapping, manslaughter and murder. However, domestic violence can occur in less obvious acts such as use of offensive language, threatening gestures, careless use of firearms. The use of electronic communications to intimidate, terrify, threaten or harass is also domestic violence. Stalking is a form of domestic violence.
How do you prove that an act of domestic violence has occurred? In 95% of the cases the perpetrator denies any act of domestic violence and may even deny that an episode of violence has ever occurred. The person claiming that domestic violence occurred has the burden to prove it. Obviously, witnesses that have seen the domestic violence are the best evidence but domestic violence usually occurs when there are no witnesses. Secondary evidence therefore becomes of paramount importance. Text messages, emails, photographs, audio/video recordings and letters are all very good sources of evidence to prove to the Court that domestic violence has occurred.