Breaking the Cycle: What to Do If You Are the Victim of Domestic Violence
Victims of domestic violence are often scared and unsure what they can legally do to protect themselves and their family from their abuser. To help ensure the safety of its residents, Connecticut has some protections in place for victims of domestic violence. By understanding what domestic violence is and what options are available for victims, you can better protect yourself from this devastating crime.
Domestic violence defined
According to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence is any pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that exists within the following types of relationships and household/ family members:
• Spouse or former spouse
• Relatives by blood or marriage
• Unrelated people who live together or have lived together in the past
• Couples who have children together, regardless of if they were married or living together
• Couples who are dating or have dated in the past
Domestic violence can take many forms, including:
• Physical abuse
• Emotional or psychological abuse
• Stalking or harassment
• Economic abuse
• Sexual abuse
Many behaviors and actions constitute criminal domestic violence. Common examples include:
• Sexual assault
• Violation of a court protective or restraining order
How an attorney can help
An attorney can help victims of domestic violence use the law to protect themselves. One common way victims can increase their safety is by filing a Civil Restraining Order. In Connecticut, any person that meets the requirements of domestic violence can file a request to obtain a Civil Restraining Order. This type of order can prohibit all contact from the abuser. If granted, the initial protection of the order can last up to one year and is eligible for an extension after that period.
Connecticut also offers victims the option of filing for a Criminal Protective Order. Unlike the Civil Restraining Order, Criminal Protective Orders are only given following the arrest or arraignment of the abuser. The protections provided under this are very similar to those in civil orders. This type of order typically lasts until the end of the criminal case, although its protections can be extended if needed.
We take the safety of our domestic violence clients seriously
At McConnell Family Law Group, we understand that domestic violence is a terrible and dangerous ordeal. As such, our firm is dedicated to ensuring the safety and peace of mind of victims of domestic violence. If you would like to learn more about how our services can help protect you and your family, please visit us online at www.mcconnellfamilylaw.com.