Recently, I was reminded of just how wrong these situations can go when a client, despite having an order of protection, was killed. An unfair truth of domestic violence is that victims often become responsible for keeping themselves safe. In the face of this reality, recognizing abuse and awareness of the real danger it poses is critical for victims, survivors, and their loved ones. At the end of the day, an order of protection is only a piece of paper. If the 'recognizing abuse' signs above apply to your own situation or that of a loved one, please work closely with professionals to ensure safety.
When you have children with an abuser, even after divorce, these situations become even more dangerous and difficult to manage if there are exchanges of children that force you to be in vulnerable situations. I highly recommend, if you are in this position, that you have someone make the exchanges on your behalf, have the exchanges at a public place, and conduct the exchanges without any communication or interaction. Finally, I strongly recommend that you visibly record the exchange. You want an abuser to know the exchange is being recorded to minimize the chance of his or her acting out.
Join me in standing up for domestic violence victims and survivors by supporting the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith, and Family in bringing awareness to our domestic violence crisis through a variety of #LightingAZPurple events this month. It kicks off with the October 4th Purple Kickoff Event and offers a variety of ways you can bring visibility to the cause...along with helpful resources for anyone seeking safety from domestic abuse for themselves or a loved one.
Jason Castle is a family lawyer who specializes in high-conflict cases. He's also a former prosecutor & social worker. Hear his latest divorce thoughts!