Tips for dealing with domestic abuse

It is important for people to know what to do when domestic violence happens in order to effectively stop it in its tracks.

Nobody living in Arkansas wants to deal with a domestic abuse situation; however, violence between intimate partners happens all too often. Whether a person is a victim of abuse, or a witness to an abusive situation taking place somewhere else, it takes more than just bravery to approach these cases in a ways that provide effective solutions. It takes knowledge of which resources are available and how to use them. It requires a notion of what actions to take and which ones not to take.

Having a protocol for when abuse happens

Some people find themselves bewildered when faced with abuse, and don't know who to reach out to or where to go. The first thing to start with is to find a safe place to go. This may be a relative's house, friend's house or shelter. Co-workers, friends and family who support someone and want the best for him or her are good people to inform about the situation.

The option always remains in such situations to get the police involved, but it is always important to get the report number, the officers' badge numbers and their names. A police report can be used as evidence in court, so it is important that the police fill one out completely. Any broken property should be shown to the police.

An important piece of evidence is bodily injury. Pictures should be taken of cuts, marks, bruises and any other visible injury sustained from an abuser. Then marks should be shown to police, and the type of abuse should be described in detail. In order for the abuser to be arrested, it must either be proved that he or she violated a personal protection order, or that he or she has abused the victim in question.

Helping someone in an abusive situation

As a friend or peer, there is a lot of support a person can provide, but it is important to be respectful and constructive. For instance, trying to convince someone to leave an abusive relationship could make things worse. It is possible, for example, that there is an ultimatum for the victim that he or she will be hurt or killed if he or she tries to leave the relationship.

Instead, a loved one can help by directing their loved one to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It is also important to provide emotional support and to be there for someone, as they may not have any of that kind of network in the home.

Anybody in Arkansas who has been the victim of a domestic violence situation or who has been wrongly accused of committing such violence may benefit from the legal representation provided by an attorney in the local area who practices family law.