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What legal options to domestic violence victims have?

It's the year 2017, and unfortunately domestic violence is still a major problem in Spokane and nationwide. The Washington court system has shared with Evergreen State residents some essential facts about domestic violence. Domestic violence is a learned behavior. Although perpetrators and others will claim that the victim or substance abuse or a relationship causes domestic violence, in truth it is the perpetrator alone that causes domestic violence.

It is important for domestic violence victims to separate themselves from their abusers. Unfortunately, sometimes there are barriers that prevent a victim from taking this essential step. There may be economic barriers, such as loss of housing, transportation and support. The perpetrator's escalating violence and control may act as a barrier to leaving. The victim may believe they are protecting the children by staying, or there may be cultural, religious or family expectations acting as barriers to leaving.

Domestic violence victims should be aware that they have options. For their own safety and the safety of children and loved ones, victims should take action to get out of an abusive situation immediately. Victims can pursue a protection or restraining order against the abusive party. This is a court process, and most victims find the help of a protection order attorney to be helpful in making sure the correct procedure is followed.

A victim married to their abuser probably will want to divorce that person. Again, many family law attorneys have experience in this area and know the steps to take to procure the divorce while protecting the safety of their clients.

Source: Washington Courts, "Domestic Violence Information," accessed on Jan. 15, 2017

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