Domestic violence is a sad reality in our state. It is often obscured behind closed doors and is rarely talked about. This can lead to confusion on many levels, including what actually qualifies as domestic violence, and what can be done to protect one's self from it. We hope this post will help clarify some of those issues.
First of all, what is domestic violence? The phrase 'domestic violence' encompasses a wide swath of actions that threaten physical harm against another. The threat or attempt at harm does not have to actually cause injuries in order to be considered domestic violence. Actions that are often considered domestic violence include punching, slapping, kicking, choking, pushing, restraining, and throwing objects at another individual in the home. Pointing a weapon at another individual in the home can also be considered domestic violence.
Those who are subjected to domestic violence have legal options to protect themselves. First, these individuals should be sure to call 9-1-1 when domestic violence occurs. Authorities can offer immediate protection, and a subsequent arrest may lead to criminal charges that lead to incarceration. Victims can also take their own legal action to protect themselves and their children. A victim may be able to obtain a protective order that disallows the perpetrator from being near the victim, and child custody arrangements may be modified.
Though those who fall victim to domestic violence may feel hopeless, they actually have a number of legal remedies available to them. However, it is not easy to confront this issue alone. Therefore, those who find themselves in this situation should surround themselves with loving and caring friends and family who will be there to support them. Victims may also want to consider consulting an attorney who can help them fight for the legal protections they need to ensure their safety in the future.
Source: FindLaw, "Ohio Domestic Violence Laws," accessed on Jan. 23, 2015