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Rights & Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

Domestic Violence on Long Island, NYAs a Family Law attorney practicing in Nassau County and Suffolk County, NY, I see victims of Domestic Violence all too often. Domestic Violence is a serious problem in America. Every nine seconds a woman in this country is a victim of this crime. It’s the leading cause of injury to women, more than muggings, car accidents and rapes combined. Even more horrifying is that one in three women who are victims of homicide are murdered by their current or former partner.

Legal Definition of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of violent and coercive behaviors that occur multiple times, often daily. The behavior is directed to achieve and maintain power and control over someone in the home. It could be either a criminal or non-criminal act.  It could be mental or physical abuse of anyone in the house, not just the partner.  Examples of abusive behavior can include: power and control (giving punishments for “bad” behavior), verbal abuse (threats or ridiculing), physical abuse, sexual abuse, control, manipulation, harm to a pet, forced isolation, even controlling finances when coupled with the threat of violence is seen as Domestic Violence.  Constant calling or “checking in” isn’t violent itself, but can be a sign or signal of violence to come.

You Have Rights and Protections

If you think you are a victim of Domestic Violence, you do have rights and legal protections. Domestic Violence is a crime in all states, including New York. On Long Island, and throughout New York State a victim has the right to obtain what is called an “Order of Protection”.  The Order of Protection will either direct the abuse to “refrain from” committing such acts, or, if the abuse is significant, to “stay away” from the victim entirely. If you want to press charges for assault, you have rights under criminal law as well. The law requires the police to arrest abusers who commit a felony or misdemeanor against a household or family member. Repeated offenders of this crime can receive four to seven years of prison time depending on the injury.

Don’t Wait. Protect Yourself Now

You shouldn’t have to face something like this alone. If you need legal guidance in a troubling time like this, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation at (631) 923-1910. We can help protect you and stop the pattern of abuse.