Part I: What to Do If You’re in a Domestic Abuse Situation: Finding Domestic Violence Resources
If you’re suffering abuse in your home, you already know you have to get out of there as soon as possible. No one deserves to feel unsafe in their own home, and if you’re in this situation, you’ll need to start making plans to leave. The thing is, this is sometimes a lot more difficult than it sounds, but not to worry because there are numerous domestic violence resources you can take advantage of, including the following:
1. California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV)
This organization does not offer housing for domestic violence victims, but they are a wealth of information because their website has listings of all of the shelters in the state. They do not provide any legal services or help with restraining orders. You can easily find the shelter that is closest to you by visiting their website or contacting them at 916-444-7163.
2. National Domestic Violence Hotline
If you need help getting out of an abusive situation, you can call, chat, or text with these experts, and they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call them at (800) 799-SAFE (7233), text START to 88788, or click on the Chat button on their site to get in touch with them immediately.
3. National Teen Dating Hotline
This website has tons of advice and additional domestic violence resources if you’re a teenager who’s in an abusive situation. Their toll-free number is (866) 331-9474. You can also click on the icon on their site if you’d like to chat with them, or text LOVEIS to 22522. They also provide lots of useful information for teens.
4. California Courts (The Judicial Branch of California)
This website has lots of valuable information on all aspects of domestic violence, including details about restraining orders, laws that deal explicitly with domestic violence and your rights, and numerous other topics. If you wish to know what the laws are and how they can help you, or get access to other resources, this is the site to visit.
5. California Department of Public Health – Injury and Violence Prevention (IVP) Branch
This is another useful website with tons of domestic violence resources and information that can help you plan when and how you’re going to leave, as well as fact sheets about domestic violence, information on sexual assault, and statistics that show how prevalent it is in today’s society.
Part II: How a Family Lawyer Can Help When You’re Being Abused
The main advantage of hiring a family lawyer when you’re a victim of domestic violence is that they know the law inside and out and can therefore help you get out of your situation safely and without doing anything that could jeopardize your future. Many victims get desperate and end up doing something they regret, but if you are suffering with domestic violence, you should know that that isn’t a smart thing to do and that there are other viable options.
One of the first things a good family lawyer will do is go over some of your options when you’re in this situation, and these options usually include:
- Restraining orders
- Supervised or no visitation privileges
- Temporary support orders
Oftentimes, people who are being abused physically are also being abused psychologically, which sometimes includes being isolated from their family and friends. Because of this, they may need some temporary support to help them get back on their feet again. This and numerous other domestic violence resources are out there and ready to help you if you’re in this situation, and the right family lawyer can help you get access to any of them.
And how can you go about finding the perfect family lawyer? First of all, you’ll want to interview several of them, usually two or three or more, so that you can determine what their level of expertise is and develop a sense of rapport with them. When you’re asking them questions, pay attention to their facial expressions and their responses so you know they’re not judging you or lack sympathy. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason with any of the lawyers you speak to, it’s time to move onto the next one.
Of course, once you find the right lawyer you won’t have to find the resources you need on your own, because they have access to all types of domestic violence resources and can help point you in the right direction once you let them know what you need. Whether it’s temporary shelter or a restraining order, or anything in between, family lawyers can help you find what you need so you can get out of an abusive situation and get to a safe place quickly.