Domestic violence is an issue that affects millions of people in the United States every year, and it can happen to anyone. The New York City Police Department responds to approximately 230,000 domestic incidents every year.
Unfortunately, these are just the reported incidents. If you or someone you know are facing domestic violence, it can be extremely difficult to cope on your own.
That’s why many people decide to seek legal help from a domestic violence attorney serving New York. A lawyer may help with the legal process, as well as the emotional and physical aspects of living in an abusive situation.
In order to decide whether or not you need a lawyer, there are warning signs that will help determine if it is time to hire a lawyer.
The Abuser Has Hurt You Physically Or Sexually
Physical or sexual violence is a sign that you need legal help. If the abuser has hurt you physically or sexually, it’s important to remember that these are not acceptable forms of behavior. You should be able to live in a loving relationship without being abused.
If the abuse was recent and there are police records of the incident, then you’ll want to contact a lawyer immediately. If this is not the case, you should still talk to a lawyer as soon as you can so you know your legal options.
You Are In Fear For Your Life
If you are in fear for your life, it’s likely time to seek legal help. You may have been living with abuse for a long time and finally be at a point where you don’t feel safe anymore. If the abuse has become physically violent or more frequent, this should serve as a warning sign that it threatens your health and safety.
Even if you can stay safe now, it could be wise to have a safety plan prepared in case the situation escalates. This can include everything from having an emergency bag packed and ready at all times to filing for a restraining order.
The Abuser Is Controlling
If the abuser’s behavior is controlling and manipulative, you should contact a lawyer. This kind of abuse will ultimately control all aspects of your life until it eventually becomes unmanageable.
This means that the person who is being abused slowly loses their ability to think rationally and function independently. Their abuser manipulates them into believing that they don’t have a choice and that the abuse is actually their fault.
Your Children Are Being Abused
If someone is abusing your children, it’s time to contact a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer will help protect you and your family. Sometimes, physical or sexual abuse happens in the vicinity of children. Domestic violence severely impacts children which can be difficult for them to handle, even if they don’t directly witness it.
Children are often too young to know how to cope with being in an abusive situation. A lawyer may be able to help you get custody of your children or ensure that the courts are aware of their current living conditions so that they can receive proper support and care.
Your Spouse Has A History Of Drug Or Alcohol Abuse
Abusing drugs or alcohol can make someone volatile and violent. It’s important to note that substance abuse alone is not an excuse for physical violence. If you have been battered because of drug or alcohol-related issues, then you may want to speak with a domestic violence lawyer.
They can make sure that your rights are protected while also ensuring that the person abusing you receives the help they need.
You Have Experienced Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse or sexual assault, and you should never feel powerless in a relationship.
An emotional abuser will eventually try to control every aspect of your life so that they are always in power over you. If you feel emotionally abused in a relationship, it’s time to have a conversation with the abuser.
If you believe that there is no way for the two of you to resolve the issue, then it may be important to seek legal help and speak with an attorney.
Following these signs may seem like common sense, but being in an abusive relationship can be all-consuming for some victims. This ultimately means that they may not recognize the signs of abuse themselves or seek help for fear of what their abuser will do.
Contacting a domestic violence lawyer can make sure that your rights are protected and that you are not being subjected to any type of abuse while you are in the process of counseling.