Domestic violence is an ongoing silent epidemic growing exponentially, and anyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, and class status, can become a victim of this. According to the NCADV, on average, 20 individuals per minute get physically abused by a spouse or intimate partner in the United States. This equates to over 10 million men and women getting abused per year.
If you’re in an abusive relationship and think your partner poses a threat to your children, it’s time for you to take immediate action. Take a stand and get out of the relationship fast to keep you and your children safe by consulting with a trusted domestic violence lawyer and see what your options are.
However, if you’re thinking of taking immediate action, here’s how you can file charges against your abuser.
Report the Crime to Law Enforcement Officials
Firstly, if you or your child experiences abuse, you should immediately report the crime to your local police department. Depending on the incident, they may investigate the matter, determining if they will file a charge against the suspect. If they do file charges, the case is now under the governance of your local court.
Go to a District Court Commissioner If the Police Doesn’t Investigate or File Charges
However, if the police don’t investigate your case or file any charges, you can file an Application for Statement of Charges by yourself with your district’s court commissioner. These officials review applications for charges and see if enough evidence exists to make a case against the defendant (your abuser) with a crime. You’ll need to fill up the application with all the crime details, from the accused’s description to how, where, and when the incident happened.
Issuing of an Arrest Warrant or ‘Summons’
After signing the application, the commissioner will review it to see if a crime did indeed happen. If they determine a probable cause, they’ll either issue an arrest warrant to arrest the defendant or a summons for the accused to appear in court. For summons, a police officer authorized to serve the summons will inform and ensure the defendant goes to court. Meanwhile, for a warrant, the law enforcement agency assigned to it will find and arrest the defendant.
Going to Court
When your application for statement of charges gets approved, the commissioner will not be able to withdraw it. You need to appear to the trial as a witness, and if you fail to appear on the date given by the court, you can get arrested. After the hearing, the final result will determine your fate with your abuser, but the usual case will be the judge giving your abuser a restraining order.
However, if you still want to give your abuser a second chance, here’s what you can do to keep abuse from happening repeatedly.
- Familiarize yourself with your abuser’s ‘red flags,’ meaning keep an eye on your partner when they’re upset or angry and deescalate the situation immediately. You can also leave the house with your kids with reasons such as your parents asking you to visit them, preventing unnecessary fights.
- Create a solid support system as your spouse allows, and get you and your children involved with other people outside your house.
Domestic abuse and violence is a real problem throughout the world. If you’re in an abusive relationship, it’s best to get out of it fast to ensure you and your children’s safety. After all, there’s always the possibility of building new, better, and healthy relationships.