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Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic Violence Laws

Individuals who suffer from domestic violence are covered by both federal and state laws and thus, can seek respite in a civil and criminal court. For instance, victims of domestic abuse can file a criminal case against their abuser and concurrently sue the abuser for assault and battery in civil proceedings. Domestic violence laws vary from state to state. Occasionally, these laws diverge appreciably and the variation can include things like what constitute domestic abuse – does it only constitute physical abuse or does it include emotional, psychological, and fiscal abuse too.

The differences also include the mandatory reporting laws prerequisites. For instance, in a few states, medical experts may need to report alleged abuse to the police. This is significant due to the fact that a lot of women decide to circumvent medical care if they recognize that their abuser will be in for trouble. Due to the variation of domestic violence laws in different states, it is significant that you realize that your likelihood of evading a domestic violence lies on your state of residence.

This guide is meant to help you identify how the domestic violence law differences in various states may impact on your situation.

Arrest- policies

There are also different laws guiding arrest policy in different states within the country. Some states execute mandatory arrest of the abuser while some have arrest policy that requires the arrest of both the abuser and the abused. Some have laws that require the police to state why an arrest is not made via report writing.  New York, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, for instance, has a law that mandates a police officer to make arrest at the scene of the domestic violence if the case meets specific criteria.

The police are expected to make arrest in states that have compulsory arrest policies, because it makes the abused party safer. If the abuser is not arrested, he could unleash more violence against the abused person for reporting to the police.

Arrest- policies

Mandatory reporting

Domestic violence mandatory reporting laws are common in the US. According to the law, it is compulsory for a medical professional to call the police when he or she notices or has a convincing clue that a patient has been wounded due to domestic abuse. The specific requirements of mandatory law requirements, however, vary from state to state.

In California, medical professionals face criminal penalties if they refuse to report the abuse. What this implies is, if a victim of domestic abuse goes to the hospital to be treated of a sustained injury, the medical professional is bound by law to report the matter to the police. The law requires the medical practitioner to tell the abused person that he or she is reporting the matter to the police.

New Jersey and Wyoming do not have mandatory reporting for medical professionals but they have a law that mandates the general public to report cases of domestic abuse to the police.

Escaping domestic abuse through early termination of lease

Oftentimes, it is difficult for victims of domestic abuse to escape being domestically abused due to the fact that the majority of the abused individuals share their lives, the same home, same family and finances with their abusers. The abuser would normally return back to the house after being punished by police and increase their abuse to retaliate the report made by their partner against them. To combat this effect, a number of states including New York, New Jersey and California, allow for early termination of lease. To obtain this exception, the abused partner must be in position of either a police report that documented the abuse or a restraining order against the abuser.

The violence against women act

The Federal law provided the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) which offers the victims of domestic violence additional support. The Violence against Women Act (VAWA) was initiated in 1994 and in addition to the bill passed in 1996, it is meant to design and fund programs that help victims of domestic violence. Before the inauguration of VAWA perpetrators of domestic violence could frequently evade orders of protection by relocating to another city. VAWA was initially phased out in 2011, but was transformed in 2013 and is still functional till date.

The “Domestic violence green card”

VAWA allows foreign nationals to apply for permanent residency in the United States via self-petition if they are living in the United States and were abused by a citizen of USA or a person permanently resident in the US. Also, a foreign nationals abused by the U.S. government employees or a member of the uniformed services are also eligible for permanent residency card even when he or she is not present in the U.S. Illegal migrant in the US who are ineligible for VAWA residency card may be eligible for the U visa. U visa validates their stay in the US, makes their stay legal, gives them the right to lawfully take employment and offer them self-determining process for obtaining a residency card.

Get professional help for your domestic violence case

Circumventing incidences of domestic violence is an extensive and taxing process that necessitates an enormous amount of courage for the abused person. If you think you are suffering from domestic abuse and are not sure what your options are, you may be able to get professional assistance to determine the options you may have from an experienced attorney in your locality.


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