If you or someone you know has been involved in domestic violence, know that you are not alone. 85% of victims of domestic violence are women. However, men, children, and elderly family members can also be domestic violence victims.
The saddest part about domestic violence cases is victims adopt enduring habits, delaying their justice. Most cases go unreported due to fear of offenders subjecting the victims to more physical or psychological harm. Fortunately, the laws governing domestic violence are keen on vindicating the victims rather than whisking them away. If you are a victim or facing domestic violence charges, we are here to help.
What is domestic violence?
Your New Westminster criminal defence lawyer understands domestic violence as any act that causes either physical or psychological harm from one family member to another. It can be the case of a husband inflicting bodily harm on his wife or vice versa. It can also be a parent causing physical harm or displaying controlling behaviors on their children or vice versa.
For a person to file a domestic violence lawsuit, the charges may be based on their injuries’ seriousness. It can also apply if a minor was present and whether the offender breaches the restraining order. Domestic violence can involve many acts, including shoving, spanking, and stalking. In addition, if your partner is subjecting you to financial or sexual abuse, you can also file a domestic violence lawsuit against them. If you or your loved one is facing domestic violence, be sure to get in touch with a domestic violence lawyer in New Westminster, BC, immediately for further advice or legal representation.
Steps to take when reporting domestic violence or abuse
Whether you are a first-time victim of domestic violence or have been enduring it for months or years, here is how to report your case:
Step 1: Make a formal report with the police
Whether your partner, parent, or child inflicts physical or psychological harm on you, the first person you should contact is the police. While there, the in-charge police officer will take your statement. A law enforcement officer may ask you specific questions to understand the nature of your relationship with your abuser and your living situation.
If you have been injured, you will be required to obtain a medical assessment form detailing the nature of your injuries. If the injury shows after your statement, go back to them to take pictures to be used in court. They will also refer you to domestic violence advisor depending on your needs. Filing a formal complaint with the police involves explaining how a support system can assist before and during court proceedings.
Step 2: Get a medical report
A doctor’s report is essential when filing a domestic violence lawsuit because it shows the severity of your injury and your pain and suffering. Your doctor will conduct exams or run tests to determine how much bodily harm your abuser caused and file a report. A doctor’s report can also come in handy if your injury or emotional trauma has weighed down your economic ability.
Step 3: Contact a domestic violence lawyer
Going by attorneys’ views on domestic violence defense cases, it is not surprising that undergoing court processes and winning a case can be stressful and emotionally testing. From the rigorous paperwork, alienation from family members to being put under witness protection, the emotional trauma of reporting domestic violence can be intense. However, withdrawing a lawsuit against your abuser might not do much in stopping them from abusing you or erasing the injuries you sustained during the ordeal.
As is expected of most criminal or civil cases, evidence and legal representation are essential. Winning a favorable outcome on a domestic violence case depends on the skills of your legal representation. Here is how to navigate your domestic violence case:
1. Get legal representation from an experienced domestic violence lawyer
Getting through a domestic violence case can be disheartening, considering the emotional trauma that comes with it. Fortunately, finding an experienced domestic violence attorney can make the journey to find justice become bearable than going it alone. Considering the amount of work and time such cases may take, it would be best to have a lawyer resolve it as quickly as possible.
2. Avoid breaching the teams of any criminal orders of protection
Your attorney will take you through the terms of criminal protection orders to ensure you get the justice you need. If it states that you should avoid communicating with the offender, ensure you abide by it. Doing the opposite may attract a felony charge that may complicate your case, delaying justice.
3. Keep a low profile
The last thing you can do to complicate your domestic violence case is getting arrested or arraigned in court for another offense. While getting in trouble with the law might work to your disadvantage, maintaining a low-key profile is the only way to win your case. Your case might take 12-24 months, which is why you need to avoid any incident that may affect a favorable resolution of your case.
Step 4: Seek mental support
Besides going for medical checkups, ensuring your mental health is in check should be your top priority. Remember, domestic violence does not only involve physical harm. It also affects your mental state. As you pursue your case, go for counseling or mental therapy. That way, you will not have to deal with mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety.
Let us fight for justice on your behalf
N.J, Preovolos Law Corporation, we strive to help our clients get the justice they deserve. Armed with the best of Vancouver’s refined criminal defense lawyers, we ensure that our clients get through their domestic cases stress-free. Whether you are a victim or have been arrested for domestic violence, we will try our best to protect your rights. From paperwork to following up on your case in court, we do not leave any stone unturned. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation, and fully confidential consultation.