“Alternative Facts” or Facts? – Domestic Violence and Abuse
Your life at home with your partner should not parallel the turbulence of 2017’s political climate. Satirical hashtags aside, Domestic Violence is not to be taken lightly. Technology in today’s post-modern era has definitely changed the way that people interact with each other. It is easy to be inundated with so much information, that even after countless hours of research, the answers you look for are nowhere to be found.
There are signs of abuse that are more obvious than others, and the Domestic Violence Prevention Act lays out some very specific examples. But what about the more obscure signs? For example, does the partner who’s Facebook friends are always screened by their significant other have as much legal relief as the wife who is restricted to leave the family home without prior permission? Does the spouse who is verbally abused every night with no bruises to show for it have as much recourse as the one who is battered? Does the victim who suffers from constant internet slander from an angry ex have the same grounds for relief as the victim who has to put up with more physical forms of harassment? The short answer is yes. Before you or a loved one is hit by anymore of these “alternative facts” about domestic violence, scan the chart below to see how many of these sound familiar in today’s age.
|“He asked for all my social media passwords, and the code to my phone so he can see who contacts me. He also says that I have to snap him a selfie with the location filter on so that he knows where I am at all times. This is harmless; I just need to show him that he can trust me.”||Wrong. There is nothing cute or endearing about this. This is harassing, controlling behavior, and a violation of your privacy.|
|“DVROs are only for spouses and significant others. We didn’t really have a label. I was never called his/her girlfriend/boyfriend. We were just a ‘casual fling’, I guess.”||In today’s commitment-adverse, Tinder/Grinder age the hesitation to seek relief is understandable. If you were harmed by a relationship that had “frequent, intimate associations primary characterized by the expectation of affection”, do not take the violation of your safety lightly. The façade of a platonic relationship is insufficient. This is domestic violence.|
|“There’s no way I can get a Restraining Order. I can’t afford it.”||In most counties and courthouses, it costs little to nothing to file for a domestic violence restraining order. The court recognizes an emergency when they see one, and will issue orders in your best interest.|
|“’Verbal assault’” isn’t a real thing. The point-blank definition of “violence” is the exertion of any physical force so as to injure or abuse. He/she says hurtful things, but they’ve raised a hand to me.”||The scope of domestic violence spans farther than physical abuse. Verbal, mental, and emotional abuse are also evaluated. Any behavior by your partner that causes you to be fearful IS domestic violence.|
|“My partner and I had a fight 3 years ago. In the heat of the moment, he got in my face with all these profanities. I can file an emergency restraining order.”||An incident that happened this long ago will not have much bearing in court on its own. It would lack the sufficient grounds for emergency relief.|
|“My husband threw a temper tantrum in front of the kids, and I needed the time to think if moving forward with a restraining order was the best thing to do. Now that things are calmer, I feel safe enough to file something.”||Remember, the court issues these orders on an EMERGENCY basis. You have to report the incident as soon as possible, otherwise the court will be hard-pressed to believe that your incident was an emergency.|
|“I called the cops, and they issued an Emergency Protective Order. That should be should be enough.”||NO. An emergency protective order only last 5 business days or 7 calendar days. In that time period, it is highly recommended that you seek legal counsel. Your order will lapse if you do not act in a timely manner.|
|“My ex blasted a wall post showing off all the intimate pictures I sent him when we were together. This is so humiliating. It’s horrible that there’s nothing I can do about it now.”||This is more than just domestic violence. This is sexual exploitation, and has serious ramifications. Contact the security admins of the social media site, and inform them of the situation. You can file a police report and a DVRO.|
|“If I file a DVRO, my spouse/significant other will be thrown in jail and they will never be able to see our kids ever again. I would rather not do anything harsh.”||Your DVRO does not have to extend to your children. Based on your comfort level, you can also request supervised visitation.|
|“My wife threw her hot coffee mug at our living room wall. It shattered on the wall behind me. She shouted at me to clean the mess up. I don’t think this is something that the cops will care about”.||Any act of intimidation that jeopardizes your safety is domestic violence.|
|“Every time my girlfriend and I are out with our friends, she always has to make it known that she wears the pants in the relationship. I used to like how her take-charge, strong-willed personality made her seem very capable, but she says so many emasculating things in front of all our friends to ‘keep me in check’.”||Your intimate partner should not be placing you in a constant position of humiliation. If you have already talked, and there has been no effort to mitigate this issue, then you have a real problem in your hands.|
|“Girl, he deleted all of my guy friends from my contacts and Facebook. The only ones I am allowed to keep are family members, which he has to talk to first. But I know that he only does this because he loves me and wants to protect me”.||This counts as controlling behavior and isolation. Domestic violence perpetrators have a tendency to isolate their victims in order to make them feel helpless.|