Many people are unaware of one particularly insidious policy change made by the Justice Department under the Trump Administration. Last year, they quietly changed the definition of domestic violence to make it far more narrow.
Victims of domestic violence often try to keep the whole thing under wraps. They don't want to tell anyone what's going on. They dress in a way that hides the signs of physical abuse. They make up stories about their relationship so that it sounds healthy and safe when it's anything but. Friends have no idea what's really going on. Family members do not even know how far it's gone.
If you're a victim of domestic violence, your partner may try to make excuses for their behavior. This is often done in an effort to manipulate you, perhaps to influence you to refrain from getting a protective order when you need one or to keep you in the relationship.
If you have a reason to be fearful of a romantic partner, a family member or a person that you share accommodation with, it is important that you take action to protect yourself. It is possible to gain an emergency protection order if you find yourself in a threatening situation.
Much of the time, when people think of domestic abuse, they think of a partner or spouse physically attacking the person that they are supposedly in a romantic relationship with. While this is a type of domestic abuse, it only scratches the surface in regard to the possible ways that domestic abuse can be carried out.
Being in an abusive relationship can be frightening, traumatic and it can also be difficult to recognize when you are in one. It takes a great deal of courage and determination to leave an abusive relationship, and it also requires that you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your children safe.
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, it is important that you take every possible precaution that you feel necessary in order to protect yourself. If you have been involved in an altercation where the police were involved, a temporary restraining order was probably made against the alleged abuser. However, as a victim of domestic abuse, you will probably want to take further action in order to prevent the abuser from being able to initiate any further contact.
When child custody arrangements are made in Pennsylvania custody courts, the best interests of the child are always taken into account. Therefore, the judge will do what he or she can to ensure that the child in question will not be subject to violence or have to witness violence in the home while staying with either parent.
A program put in place to identify individuals at risk of domestic violence -- and stop a situation from escalating -- has now been expanded into 45 counties in Pennsylvania.
In a situation where you, and perhaps also your children, have been suffering from abuse at the hands of a person close to you, such as your former partner or your parent, there are protections in place to enable you to live your life in safety.