You are not alone if you are a victim of domestic violence. According to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 37.9 percent of Florida women and 29.3 percent of Florida men have experienced intimate partner dating violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking at some point in their lives. Every year, many more incidents go undetected. Even though Florida’s total crime rate has declined in recent years, domestic violence rates have remained stable.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, seek help immediately. The compassionate and experienced domestic violence attorneys at Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm can assist you with the legal process and navigate the court system. However, in many cases, the police should also be involved. If you are concerned about your safety, call the police first. Furthermore, when police officers corroborate certain evidence through their investigation, it can be helpful in presenting the injunction matter at trial.
On the other hand, if you are wrongfully accused of domestic abuse, you should immediately call an experienced South Florida domestic violence attorney near you. A false domestic violence allegation can have serious implications if not effectively contested. Continue reading to find out the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive and learn how we can help you if you or your loved one is the victim of domestic violence.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence refers to acts or threats of violence against a family or household member. Some examples include:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated sexual battery
- False imprisonment
Why Do Victims Sometimes Return to or Stay with Abusers?
Abusive partners make a concerted effort to keep victims in the relationship. They may attempt to isolate the victim from friends and relatives, limiting the persons and places available to the abused for assistance. Abusive spouses establish financial barriers to safety through various financial abuse strategies, such as insisting that the abused spouse remain unemployed and limiting or barring their access to funds. .
The abused often experiences a genuine fear of death, additional abuse, inability to care for their children, or food and housing insecurity if they leave since abusers may view their act of independence as a challenge to the power and control they have fought so hard to achieve, and may choose to escalate the violence in retaliation. On average, three women are murdered by a current or previous intimate partner every day.
Through a technique called “gaslighting,” abusive partners make victims believe they are to blame for the abuse. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse used by abusers to deceive and blame the victim. This frequently causes the victim to question their sanity and believe that they are responsible for the abuse and capable of putting an end to it.
Abuse takes a toll on both the emotional and physical well-being of the victim over time, resulting in further health problems that make leaving more difficult.
Survivors frequently express a desire for the abuse to end, not the relationship. A victim may choose to remain with or return to an abusive partner based on the abuser’s promises to change.
Are There Warning Signs of an Abuser?
While it is impossible to identify an abuser in a crowd, most abusers share specific characteristics. Several of the subtle warning signs include the following:
- They can be quite charming and appear “too good to be true.”
- They are adamant about entering a relationship quickly.
- They will not allow you to engage in your preferred recreational activities or spend time with family and friends.
- They are extremely envious or manipulative.
- They absolve themselves of responsibility for their actions and blame everything that goes wrong on others.
- They frequently make disparaging remarks about their partner’s appearance.
- Their words and actions contradict one another.
- Push to have control over the finances of the relationship.
It’s critical to keep in mind that domestic violence is, at its core, a pattern of power and control. Each of these behaviors may not be indicative of abuse on its own, but only when viewed in the context of a pattern of behavior.
Can an Abuser Change?
Yes, but they must first admit they have a problem and commit to changing their behavior and getting the necessary help. It’s also challenging for the abuser to transition to a healthy relationship where each partner has equal respect and power once an abuser has all the power in a relationship. The recidivism rate for all domestic abusers is 23%. Within minority communities, that rate can be substantially higher.
When a violent partner stops using one form of abuse, such as physical violence, they may turn to other forms of abuse, such as emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. Domestic violence is a pattern of gaining power and control over the victim that includes one or more forms of abuse.
Are Men Victims of Domestic Violence?
Men can become victims of domestic abuse. Domestic violence is a pervasive, life-threatening crime that affects millions of people in the United States regardless of their age, economic status, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ability, or level of education.
Stereotypes that men are always the abusers and women are always the victims stigmatize and discourage male survivors from coming forward with their stories. Male survivors of domestic violence are less likely to seek assistance or report abuse. Many people are unaware of services available to men, and there is a widespread misconception that domestic violence programs are exclusively for women. Domestic violence affects everyone.
Where Do I Go for Help?
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, our domestic abuse attorneys can file a Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. These requests receive high priority and are reviewed by a Judge before the end of the business day. If the petition satisfies the legal requirements for an injunction, it will be granted temporarily, and the temporary injunction will be sent immediately to the sheriff’s office for services. The Judge determines whether the legal requirements for a temporary injunction are met and schedules a hearing within 15 days. The Court will determine at the hearing whether there is sufficient evidence to support a permanent injunction for an extended period of time.
Nonetheless, an injunction is only a stopgap measure in the case of an ongoing pattern of abuse. When you work with us, we will assist you in exploring options for securing your future and, if necessary, protecting your children. Above all, we will arm you with knowledge, compassion, and a supportive environment that will enable you to move forward with your life.
Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm: Protecting Families Against Domestic Violence in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties
If you have been the victim of domestic violence in Florida, the domestic violence attorneys at Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm are passionate about helping you. We have compassion and decades of combined legal experience and are positioned to help if you have been the victim of domestic violence or have been wrongfully accused. We can also help you with other family law matters. Life’s too short to be in the wrong relationship.
Call us at (954) 447-2580 or complete our online form today to schedule your confidential consultation. At Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm, we settle where we can and fight when we must. We have offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, and Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.