Do You Suspect Domestic Violence? Be AWARE! October 27, 2016 | Criminal

Do you suspect domestic violence? October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a serious and preventable crime. It is important to be there and support victims and survivors of domestic violence. An important step in ending domestic violence includes educating the community. The following are 5 things you can do to support a victim or a survivor of domestic violence.

  1. Identify if someone you know could be a victim. While physical bruises may be a clear indicator of domestic violence, the warning signs are not always easy to spot.
    • A victim may have low self-esteem.
    • A victim may suffer from depression.
    • Many victims believe they deserve the abuse because of something they did.
    • A victim may not have access to their own money.
    • A victim may receive an allowance.
    • A victim may receive numerous phone calls while at work or out with friends.
    • A victim may not be prepared to admit they are being abused.
    • A victim may not be prepared to admit they are a victim.
  2. Show up unexpectedly. Batterers use control to keep their victims submissive. Show up unexpectedly and with an additional person (safety in numbers). If you are a neighbor, ask if they received a package for you by mistake or ask to borrow a cup of milk. Your presence could help diffuse a violent situation.
  3. Provide financial assistance. Many victims stay in their relationships because they will not be able to support themselves without their batterer. Many victims do not, or are not allowed to, work. This means they have very limited funds, if any, to move out, feed their children, or purchase a car. Any financial assistance you can provide a victim may help them in becoming a survivor.
  4. Help a victim build their confidence in you. Victims often do not know where to turn or where to go for help. Small gestures at first can help victims in being able to build their trust in you. Offer to pick up anything for them from the store. Offer to watch their children play outside. Offer to mow their year. Any little thing you can do for a victim will lighten their burden and help build their confidence in you.
  5. Be the victim’s resource. If you are successfully building a victim’s confidence in themselves and you, continue to do that by being the resource they can come to for anything. Lend a listening ear. Help however you can. Then, when they are ready and able, they may come to you for help to get out of their situation. Get names of trusted family law attorneys who can help with divorce, child support, and domestic violence situations. Learn where the local shelter is or locate another safe place for them to go to. Any research you can do now to gather information and resources will speed up the process when the victim is ready to leave.

If you have questions regarding your specific case, call us today for a consultation.

Kristina E. Feher is an associate with the Law Office of Robert Eckard & Associates. Kristina’s practice areas include family law and domestic violence petitions, in addition to bankruptcy, business litigation, and immigration.

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