What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of intimidation and abuse that is used by one partner to establish and maintain control over the other partner. Partners may be married, living together, separated or dating; heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered or intersexed. It happens to people of every income level, education, race, religion, or profession. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to American women and comes in many forms.
Are you or someone you know experiencing any of these behaviors?
Physical Abuse
Involves contact with the intention to harm someone. Examples: pushing; punching; grabbing;  choking; holding you down; throwing you around or dragging you;  kicking; burning; biting; spitting; shooting; and stabbing.
Sexual Abuse
Involves unwanted sexual contact.  Examples: touching without consent; sexual name calling; using violence with sex; unfaithfulness and forcing or coercing you to have sex when you do not want to.
Emotional Abuse
Involves using hurtful words, threats, jokes, criticism, and/or name calling to hurt someone intentionally or humiliate them. Examples: blaming others for abuse; making light of the abuse or denying it happened; isolating you from family/friends; denying you access to the car; limiting your contact with the outside world; using looks, actions, and gestures to intimidate you; destroying property; abusing pets; displaying weapons to scare you; stalking you;  threatening to harm, to leave, to destroy property, to kidnap/harm the children, to commit suicide, to report you to immigration or DFACS; and forcing you to drop criminal charges or commit illegal acts.
Economic Abuse
Involves doing things that interfere with your ability to financially support yourself and/or your children.  Examples include: preventing you from getting a job or keeping one; not allowing you access to family income; giving you an allowance; and forcing you to ask for money and account for all spending.
Faith Abuse
Involves doing things that interfere with your ability to practice your faith.  Includes: preventing you from attending services; stalking you at your place of worship; isolating you from your faith community; and using your faith to justify the abuse.

 

Victims of Domestic Violence: What can you do?

 

  •  If you are a victim of domestic violence the first priority is to get safe.  This is not always easy.  
  •  For pointers on how to get safe and other valuable resources visit

 

http://www.avlf.org/home2#!__home2/clients/vstc3=domestic-violence

http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C60/ 

 

  • Once you are safe to help you stay that way one of the great resources for residents of Georgia is the Temporary Protective Order aka TPO.  A TPO is what most people think of when they think of the restraining order.  A TPO varies in the restrictions it imposes upon the abuser, who is called the respondent in the TPO process.  Generally speaking a TPO requires the abuser/respondent to stay a certain distance away from their victim, who is known as the petitioner.  Additionally the respondent will have additional restrictions placed upon him/her such as not contacting the petitioner, attending counselling, or other steps meant to stop the abusive behavior that brought the parties to court.  

 

Have You Been Accused of Domestic Violence?

 

  • Being accused of domestic violence is serious and you need to take it seriously.  While the criminal implications are fairly obvious, the effects of a TPO being entered against you may not be as obvious.  In addition to the no contact and stay away provisions of a TPO, there are other elements you may not consider.  
  • Things to consider:

 

- If you share a home with the person seeking the protective order against you(petitioner), you may       have to find alternative housing or provide the petitioner with alternative housing.

- You will not be able to purchase or possess a firearm during the duration of the protective order,    usually 12 months if granted.  

- You may be required to attend domestic violence counseling, drug screening, psychiatric examination,   or other similar measures.

- You may be required to pay the petitioner's legal expenses related to obtaining the TPO.

- If you violate any of the terms of the TPO, and there may be some not mentioned above, you can be   arrested for contempt.  You may be held in jail for up to 20 days for each act of contempt, this can add up.  This is in addition to any criminal charges that   may arise from the same event.

I Represent Petitioners and Respondents(Not on the Same Case):

 

  • I have worked on many many TPO cases.  I have encountered petitioners who were trying to abuse the system to get back at an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.  Nothing does more damage to the protections provided by the TPO system than those people who abuse it for an improper purpose.  I will actively defend against any petitioner who is attempting to abuse the system, just as I will passionately represent a petitioner who needs the court's protection from domestic violence or stalking.  I will not accept just any case. But if I take your case you can be confident that I will represent your interest with the committment you deserve.