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Domestic Violence Awareness Month: How To Handle Threats

October 2nd, 2010   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy, News & Events

Domestic violence is all around us. From fearsome threats of violence or bodily harm, to terrible tragedies — like the spousal and child murders in Riviera Beach, Florida, earlier this week — advocates and attorneys who work in family law, foster care and other areas hope to raise awareness of these issues. In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Florida Child Advocate offers this guest post from Barry Finkel, an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer.

Attorneys who have worked in family law, divorce or domestic abuse issues know that “domestic violence” isn’t necessarily limited to actual battery – or hitting, kicking, striking or even sexually assaulting a spouse or partner.

It can include the threat of violence. Experience has shown that threats often lead to more threats — and actual violence.

If your spouse, partner or boyfriend has committed a first act or threatened an act, act quickly to protect yourself and your children. Start by…

– Asking him to seek help. This can be in the form of anger management or marital counseling.

– Removing yourself from the home until help is sought. Sometimes, getting out of the violent situation can help diffuse it – at least momentarily.

– Calling 911 and report the domestic violence to the police. Not only can the police also help diffuse a situation, the incident will be on record.

– Filing a Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. This is done if you are in fear for your safety that he will perpetrate another act of violence against you or your minor children – or if he is threatening to do so. In Broward County, this can be done on the second floor at the Courthouse located downtown on 6th Street. Do not hesitate to do this. This should be done immediately after the threat or act of violence.

NEVER exacerbate the problem by taunting or teasing the batterer. Do not say things that your know will get him upset. Try to remove yourself from the situation and do not return home without an escort to help you retrieve your belongings and personal items.


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