October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October, 1981, by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. What started out as a grassroots movement has now evolved into a coalition to stop domestic violence and intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrated against all.
An attorney can help you if you are a victim and being physically or emotionally abused, threatened, stalked, harassed, or subject to other acts of violence. You may be able to obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order which can help keep the abuser away from you. Typically, the abuser is a former spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, domestic partner or civil union partner, or any relative. In some cases, the Restraining Order can protect your children, too.
Some statutes also allow the court to order the abuser to pay temporary child support or continue to make mortgage payments on a home owned by both of you, to award sole use of a home or car owned by both of you, or to pay for medical costs or property damage caused by the abuser.
Some courts may also order the abuser to turn over any guns, rifles and ammunition they have, attend a batterer’s treatment program, appear for regular drug tests, or start alcohol or drug abuse counseling.
On the other hand, if you have been accused of abuse, you may be subject to all of the above. Thus, it is equally important for a person being accused of abuse to consult an attorney in order to determine their rights and obligations. If you would like to learn more about Domestic Violence Awareness Month and ways you can help stop violence, you can visit The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.