Greenville, South Carolina, family law cases that involve domestic abuse are among the most troubling of cases that we see at the Elliot Frazier Law Firm. The laws against domestic violence protect wives, husbands, children, and close relatives from harm or threat of harm. Domestic abuse includes physical violence, sexual violence, economic abuse, psychological abuse, and emotional abuse. More often than not, it is inflicted due to the abuser’s constant efforts to establish power and dominance over the victim.
Domestic abuse is not something that only a specific class of people face. Several individuals from different communities, races, religions, economic statuses, and ages are subjected to domestic abuse. Physical domestic abuse is often accompanied by an emotionally abusive and controlling behavior which can also lead to psychological harm and emotional abuse.
Domestic abuse usually intensifies over time, and it is not always possible to determine in the early stages of a relationship if a person will get violent and abusive. Moreover, abusers may apologize profusely after harming the victim, but may never really stop abusing them. Thus, it is important for every victim to know when and how to escape from an abusive relationship and seek help.
How Can You Keep Yourself Safe from Domestic Abuse in Greenville, South Carolina?
While it is true that you must go to court if you or your children are being subjected to domestic violence, court
procedures might take time and do not offer immediate protection. Domestic abuse can escalate quickly, and you must seek immediate help at the first sign of it.
Several abusers exert control by downplaying the seriousness of the harm that they are causing. As a result, you may be unsure of the amount of danger that you’re in. If you are unsure, you need to talk to someone. One of the biggest risks that people take is not talking to anyone about their situation, either out of fear or shame. Call a helpline or talk to a close relative or friend. If you are in grave danger, then you need to call the police. Even if you have no access to a phone, then you need to find a way to leave. If you have been injured or sexually assaulted, call emergency services or visit the nearest hospital. In fact, if you feel that you have nowhere else to go, then stopping at your nearest emergency room could help you to find the resources that you need to get to safety.
It is important to note that domestic abuse does not always manifest as physical violence. Emotional and psychological abuse can be just as extreme and dangerous as physical violence. Moreover, domestic violence does not always end when the victim tries to escape the abuser or end the relationship. Often, it intensifies in such situations, since the abuser feels a loss of control over the victim. The most dangerous time for an abuse victim is the time when they decide to make a break from their abuser. Such situations can be fearful and it can be hard to maintain your self-confidence, but you must seek help and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.
Steps to Take When You Are a Victim of Domestic Abuse in Greenville, South Carolina
Domestic violence is often reported only when it becomes deadly. Several victims refrain from reporting crimes committed against them by their spouses, parents, or close relatives. It is important however, that these crimes be reported. You must know that as a victim of domestic violence, you have rights. You can obtain an Order of Protection and file a criminal case against your abuser.
Obtaining an Order of Protection in Greenville, South Carolina
If you have been subjected to domestic abuse or have been threatened, then you can obtain an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection is a document issued by the court to protect individuals from abuse or threats of abuse. It restricts the behavior of the abuser. Through an Order of Protection, a judge can order the abuser to stop contacting you and your family, order them to pay for medical bills from prior abuse, order the abuser to leave and stay away from your home, workplace, and family, and so on. While an Order of protection cannot guarantee your safety, it is helpful in the following ways:
- Your calls will be taken more seriously by police if you have an order of protection.
- The abuser can be arrested if the Order of Protection is violated.
- If the abuser is a spouse or partner, an Order of Protection can establish who has custody over minor children that you may have together.
An Order of Protection can be obtained by any member of the family in need of protection against domestic violence. It may also be obtained by adult members on behalf of minors being subjected to domestic violence or the threat of it.
Filing a Criminal Case Against Your Abuser in Greenville, South Carolina
In Greenville, South Carolina, family law, you can file a case of Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV) against a spouse, former spouse, someone you have a child with, someone you live with, or someone you used to live with. CDV charges can be either misdemeanor or felony depending on the nature of the violence. If the injuries caused to you are of a high and aggravated nature or if your abuser is convicted of domestic abuse at least twice within ten years, then the charges are considered felony level.
The law and court procedures that apply to criminal domestic violence cases in Greenville, South Carolina, are different than other types of cases. For instance, there is a policy against pre-trial dismissal of such cases. This is to protect the victim and avoid situations where the abuser pressures the victim to dismiss the charges.
Contact the Elliott Frazier Law Firm for More Information on Family Law in Greenville, SC
Finding immediate safety if the first step if you’ve been subjected to domestic violence. However, this is not enough. You need to remove yourself from the situation completely in order to ensure that the abuser does not harm you or your family again in the future. Thus, taking legal action is important. Family law issues are complex, and talking to an attorney will give you a clearer idea of your rights and the legal procedures. Our attorneys can also inform you of any further options, including divorce, child custody, or emancipation, depending on your relationship with the abuser. Call today to learn more.
Angela Elliot Frazier is a Family Law Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years now. Angela Frazier believes in helping you through one of the most stressful times of your life. Learn more about her experience by clicking here.