What do I do if I am victim or accused of Domestic Violence and Injunctions?
The Georgia code defines domestic violence as any felony, battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint and criminal trespass between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children and persons living or formerly living in the same household. (O.C.G.A. §19-13- 1)
The Court considers the following when deciding issues related to Domestic Violence.
- The history between the parties, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse.
- Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.
- Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or Harm the petitioner’s child or children.
- Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
- Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.
- Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
- Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence.
- The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction.
- Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communications equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.
- Whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
What is the cycle of violence?
Domestic violence tends to follow a cycle of three phases. In the first, tension, arguing, and anger escalates between the couple. In the second, the arguing crosses the line into abuse, which can be physical, sexual or emotional. The aim of the behavior is an attempt by the abuser to gain power and control over the victim. Following the violent episode, the “honeymoon phase” occurs in which the batterer may make excuses for the behavior, promise to change, or apologize. Often the honeymoon phase becomes shorter, and frequently the abuse escalates if the victim attempts to leave the relationship.
Are you a victim? Men and Women can be victims of Domestic Violence.
Many victims believe the promises made during the honeymoon phase. Often they believe the violence will not occur again, the abuser is capable of changing, or they can somehow alter the abuser’s behavior. Many victims are reluctant to seek help for a variety of reasons. Many men do not feel that they can seek relief of the Court from an abusive spouse or know what to do if they are falsely accused of Domestic Violence. There are many resources that are available to you to adequately protect yourself and your family. Do not hesitate to contact the Police to ensure your safety. If you are in need of an exit strategy, the Lynch Law Group can consult with you and provide a plan for you and your families’ future.
Have you been falsely accused of Domestic Violence? What can you do?
Because relief in Domestic Violence Court can be swift and far more expedient than the Divorce Court, many individuals will seek to garner an immediate advantage in the Domestic Violence court rather than await temporary relief in Divorce Court. The Domestic Violence Court is aware that this process is often misused and is poised to enter Protective Orders only in cases that warrant it. However, if not properly advocated, these Domestic Violence Orders can be in place for a year and can not only displace you from your home, they can also impose inordinate support, custodial and other financial obligations upon you.
If your spouse or partner has falsely accused you of a violent act against them in an effort to have you immediately removed from your home, you need to act quickly to ensure that you have proper representation before the Domestic Violence Court to fight against a protective order being entered against you where the facts do not warrant it. The Domestic Violence hearings come quickly. Schedule consultation quickly so that you can protect your rights in Court.