October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which means that now is a good time for all Arizona residents to remember, and as much as possible support, victims of domestic violence and their loved ones. It is estimated that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men are victims of domestic violence. The activities undertaken during this month may give women just the moral and emotional boost they need to end an abusive relationship. Unfortunately, it often takes more than just courage and emotional support for a woman or a man to break away cleanly from an abusive partner.
Particularly if they are married to or have a child in common with their abuser, victims of domestic violence also are going to need legal help. Initially, this sort of help can include the obtaining of a restraining order and the enforcement of that order.
Additionally, our office can connect victims with other resources they will need as part of their journey to freedom, such as counseling resources and shelters. If law enforcement is involved, we can also afford guidance in this respect.
However, perhaps, the biggest challenge a victim of domestic violence will have is protecting themselves and their children in the long term, once the impending divorce or paternity proceeding is underway. Fortunately, Arizona law offers some protection in this respect, as it guides judges to not award custody to someone who has a documented history of domestic violence, even when there are no criminal charges involved.
Still, getting through a divorce or other legal proceeding can be incredibly difficult for a Phoenix-area victim of domestic violence, in large part because so much as at stake. For this reason, having the assistance of an experienced family law attorney can prove to be invaluable.