How Does Domestic Abuse Affect Children and Families?
If you are the victim of violence in your home, you should talk with a domestic abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Domestic violence is likely to continue occurring once your partner turns violent, unless and until your partner seeks intensive therapeutic help. It is rare for an isolated occurrence of domestic violence to happen, and you need to protect yourself and your loved ones as soon as your partner begins to threaten or harm you.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide you with insight into programs and legal tools aimed at protecting people who are victims of domestic violence. We can help you to seek a protective order; assist you in reporting violence to law enforcement; help you to explore programs for abuse victims; and assist you in ending a marriage or relationship with an abuser. You should take these steps to keep yourself safe, and also to keep your kids safe, as domestic abuse affects families in many profound ways.
How Domestic Abuse Affects Children and Families
Domestic abuse affects children and families in lots of different ways, even if kids are not being physically abused themselves. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network explains some of the many ways that abuse can impact kids and families. For example:
- Children can exhibit behavioral problems, including tantrums, difficulty sleeping, and violent or abusive behavior. They may have problems both at home and in school if they witness abuse in the home.
- Children can become clinging or fearful. They may be especially clingy with the parent who was victimized after each incident of abuse occurs.
- Children may become involved in drugs and may drink to cope with witnessing abuse. Kids who grow up in violent homes are more likely to abuse substances.
- Children may feel responsible for “fixing” their family. Abuse changes the family dynamic and can result in kids feeling responsible for caring for a parent or solving the problems of the abusive behavior.
These are just some of the ways that kids can be impacted. Children can experience short-term and long-term consequences of witnessing domestic violence. Often, with the right support and therapy, they can recover from witnessing abuse once the abusive behavior comes to an end.
What Should You Do if You are the Victim of Domestic Abuse?
If your partner is threatening you or hurting you, you should contact law enforcement right away. If you are facing an active threat, contact 911 to receive emergency help. If your partner is not currently in a position to harm you, but you fear abuse is a possibility, you can visit your local police station. If you have been victimized by violence, you should also seek medical attention both so you can make certain your injuries are appropriately treated and so you can establish a record of the abuse.
Getting legal help from an Orange County domestic abuse lawyer is also advisable. Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide you with info on securing a protective order and can help you to go to court to get an order from the court that requires your abuser to stay away from you. With a protective order in place, it becomes a crime for your abuser to approach you so you can call in legal help right away if you are at risk. A court can also order an abuser to leave a shared family home, which might otherwise be considered community property and which you thus would not be able to force your spouse to leave during the process of divorce.
An attorney can help you to move forward not just with getting a protective order to immediately prevent your partner from abusing you, but can also help you to dissolve your marriage so you can permanently sever your romantic relationship with the person who is causing you harm. You owe it to yourself and to your kids to do everything possible to stay safe by getting legal assistance in escaping an abuse situation.
Getting Help from An Orange County Domestic Abuse Lawyer
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP provides help in taking appropriate legal action to try and get out of an abusive relationship and to take advantage of the protections that the law provides to abuse victims. We want to help keep you and your kids safe so our legal team will put our legal experience to work for you. Give us a call at 866-237-8129 or contact us online to speak with an Orange County domestic abuse lawyer for help in responding to abuse in your family.