After I wrote my last blog one of my firm team members told me I needed to add to what I had written, so here goes. We have a weird case right now. One of the parents is a political activist, and insists on showing their child graphic and extreme videos which support that parent’s views. The videos are certainly not for a child. As a consequence the child is having serious emotional issues. We already have one court order in place, and we just filed another emergency motion to restrict the offending parent’s parenting time. While the abuse is not physical it is still abuse, and we are going to stop it.
All too often I meet folks who when asked will tell me there has been no abuse in their marriage or relationship. I will then usually change the subject and will start asking some other questions. Gradually, I will start asking specific behavioral questions, and I am always surprised at the number of times a person will acknowledge such behavior is occurring in their marriage and yet not admit there is abuse. I am usually pretty blunt and call what the person has described for what it is.
Domestic abuse takes any number of forms; it can be verbal, physical or emotional. It can take the form of controlling the family finances or it can mean that one party refrains from doing something because they fear retribution. Regardless, it can be emotionally and physically debilitating. Don’t tolerate this! Taking action is liberating and empowering!
Realizing that safety is always a concern, talk to a professional and plan your escape. Always have a plan to protect yourself. Make a neighbor aware of what is happening so they can check in on you. Always have access to a phone and have emergency numbers preset. Test your plan, and garner the courage to act and then act.
You owe it to yourself to break a pattern of abuse, and if you have children you have a duty to them as well. We can help, so give us a call.
Second tip of the year: Getting a temporary restraining order is straightforward. Go to the local courthouse or go online and find out when the court issues restraining orders. Write a brief outline of the abuse that has occurred so you can use it to tell the court your story. Focus on the abuse whether physical or emotional, and practice telling your story to a friend. As a rule courts don’t allow attorneys to present the request. The court, if it finds grounds, will issue the order and issue a return date. The return date is when the court will make a decision as to whether to make the restraining order permanent. You will need an attorney for this, in my opinion.