Domestic violence is a criminal matter. However, when a domestic violence victim seeks divorce, it is also necessary to consult with an experienced family law attorney.
Women (and, to a lesser extent, men), throughout Alabama have suffered from domestic abuse, including name calling, emotional abuse, hitting, slapping, choking and other forms of mental and physical intimidation and abuse. While many victims may feel abuse is shameful and that there is no way out, advocates, victims and law enforcement officials are pursuing an initiative to help women understand when “Enough is Enough.”
According to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, there were more than 45,000 domestic abuse incidents reported in the state last year. One trigger for extreme cases of abuse, even murder, is the decision to end a relationship and pursue divorce. Women who have suffered from ongoing abuse already recognize this as true and often feel the threat is too strong to leave. If you are in an abusive relationship and considering divorce, remember there are resources available, law enforcement strategies, and other support groups to help keep you safe. Your priority is to keep yourself and your children out of harm's way by leaving the family home.
An investigator with an Alabama domestic crimes unit reports law enforcement officials must go beyond arrests and police reports. For many law enforcement officers, domestic abuse reports require interventions and helping victims in need. After a 911 call, law enforcement officials will respond and make sure that victims are safe. Beyond that, they must also make sure that victims aren't returned to a dangerous situation and to help keep them informed of their rights. While restraining orders can help to prevent future assaults, they are not fool proof, especially if the abuser is extremely violent or aggressive.
Domestic violence can turn deadly, especially when a victim tries to escape, end the relationship or file for divorce. For law enforcement officers, helping victims establish an escape plan is a necessary part of the job duty. Taking offenders to court is only one part of working on domestic violence cases.
Our Birmingham divorce attorneys will collaborate with officials as well as other local resources to help you get safe, protect your rights to custody, and successfully end an abusive relationship and your marriage.
For victims or their family members, it is important to have a clear understanding of your legal rights and safety options. Consulting with an experienced legal expert as well as safety advocates and law enforcement officials can help you have a safe and effective exit strategy when escaping an abusive relationship.We can help you in the early stages, even before you have disclosed the desire to leave to your spouse.
If you have suffered from repeated abuse or fear that you will be endangered if you pursue a divorce or separation, contact Alabama law enforcement immediately. Victims need to know that “enough is enough” and that they have the right to take action to protect themselves against abusers.
If you are in danger, don't be afraid to seek out professional resources. Assistance is available by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or in Alabama please call the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence hotline at -800-650-6522.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.