• January 15, 2024
  • Yoni Levoritz
  • Divorce

Dealing with Domestic Violence: Legal Steps to Protect Yourself and Your Family in New York Courts
A guide by the Levoritz Law Firm

Domestic violence is a significant and pervasive issue affecting numerous individuals and families worldwide. In New York, the justice system takes domestic violence seriously and offers various legal protections to assist victims and their families. This blog post aims to provide an overview of the legal steps available in NYC to help individuals confronting domestic violence situations seek protection and reclaim their lives.

1. Recognizing Domestic Violence:
Recognizing domestic violence is crucial to taking the necessary legal steps. Domestic violence can encompass physical abuse, sexual assault, emotional or psychological abuse, economic control, and harassment. It is essential to understand that victims of domestic violence can be of any gender, age, or background.

2. Emergency Assistance:
In immediate danger or facing an emergency situation, it is vital to prioritize your safety and that of your family members. Contact the NYC Emergency Hotline at 911 for immediate assistance, ensuring law enforcement is alerted and can respond promptly to your situation.

3. Obtaining an Order of Protection:
An Order of Protection, often referred to as a restraining order, can provide legal protection from an abuser. Victims can obtain an Order of Protection at any New York Family Court, ensuring they are safeguarded from further abuse. The court will review the case and issue a temporary (ex parte) order initially and then schedule a subsequent hearing for a more extended-term order.

4. Filing a Police Report:
Filing a police report is essential if you have been a victim of domestic violence. By reporting incidents, you create an official record that can be used as crucial evidence in legal proceedings. Provide law enforcement with a detailed account of the abuse and any physical evidence available, such as photographs or medical documents.

5. Seeking Legal Assistance:
Navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially during such distressing times. It is advisable to consult an experienced family law attorney who understands domestic violence cases. They can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights, and assist in securing the necessary legal protections.

6. Accessing Support Services:
In addition to legal measures, accessing support services is vital for victims and their families to rebuild their lives. Organizations like Safe Horizon, Sanctuary for Families, and the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence provide resources such as counseling, shelter, emergency assistance, and financial aid.

7. Custody and Child Protection:
If children are involved, prioritizing their safety is paramount. Family courts in New York recognize the significance of protecting children from domestic violence. Legal steps such as obtaining custody orders and visitation restrictions may be necessary to ensure the well-being of children and limit the abuser’s access.

8. Documentation and Evidence:
It is crucial to document incidents of domestic violence systematically. Maintain records of abusive behavior, including threatening messages, injuries, medical reports, witness statements, and any other evidence that could substantiate your claims. This evidence is instrumental in building a strong legal case.

Dealing with domestic violence is an emotionally challenging journey, but victims in New York have several legal remedies available to protect themselves and their families. By recognizing the signs, seeking assistance, and understanding the legal steps involved, victims can assert their rights and break free from the cycle of abuse. Remember, you are never alone, and there are numerous support services in New York ready to assist you on the path to safety, healing, and empowerment.

Looking for an experienced Divorce Attorney?
If you are considering a divorce from your spouse, or have questions about your divorce process, call the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at the Levoritz Law firm today at 855.213.3104 for a consultation.


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