What to Do in a Domestic Violence Situation

When someone is being abused, or there is enough suspicion to cause a reasonable person to believe there may be abuse in a household, it is vital to help the people being abused to seek safety, autonomy, and a better life for themselves.

Definition of Domestic Violence in TX

Domestic violence laws in Texas encompass both violence that occurs in families between spouses and children, and between people who have a dating or romantic relationship together but do not reside in the same household. According to the Texas Family Code, violence is defined as any action committed by a family member with the intent of causing bodily harm to another member of the household, or a threat of such an immediate danger to one’s physical well-being. This includes unwanted sexual contact or encouraging a child to engage in sexual activities. The law is not intended to prosecute parents who are disciplining their children unless the measures are extreme and result in bodily injury to the child.

Immediate Actions in a Domestic Situation

If the act is occurring and you are the victim or witnessing victimization, the first thing to do is dial 911. Don’t hesitate to contact the authorities, because the situation could quickly escalate and you want to prevent anyone from being injured. A police report will also be helpful in trying to get a restraining order, but the most important task is to stabilize the situation and protect citizens.

If There’s No Immediate Threat of Danger

If you or a loved one aren’t in immediate danger then the goal is to get them to safety. This will be different for each case. You may be able to get a restraining order, but if the person lives in your household then you might have to consider separating, or getting legal protection for while you’re in your home if separation is not possible. It’s important to speak to a Harrisburg PA domestic violence attorney, or an attorney wherever you may be, about your specific case, especially if children are involved.

Never Blame Yourself

Sometimes the best and hardest thing for a person who is being abused is leaving their abuser. Most abusers know from years of rejection, conflicts, and other problems that they must hide their unhealthy behaviors from others for as long as possible to prevent being found out. This is why many incredibly smart, well-educated, and confident people can find themselves in abusive situations. They might be dealing with a master manipulator or someone who has gotten away with a pattern of other smaller actions, such as smacking or pinching another. These manipulators can put on quite a convincing mask that a trained therapist or police officer might recognize, but the average person may not. Therefore, it is important to remember never to blame a victim for their assault. They may be dealing with a variety of feelings, ranging from betrayal to rage to fear from having trusted someone who seemed so charming and responsible.

Rebuilding Yourself

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation in Texas then you will want to hire an attorney with compassion and patience. Going to court can be an anxiety-provoking experience for people. Cole Paschall Law Office wants to help you not only seek justice but to get back to living freely and safely again away from harm or the threat of it. Call today to learn more about your options.

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