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What do you do if domestic abuse has become an issue for you?

Relationships are often the backbone that gives our lives meaning and purpose. Unfortunately, domestic abuse is an ongoing problem in New York and other jurisdictions. What do you do if you have been a victim of this type of violence or of you are facing unfounded accusations of such behavior?

New York has a two-tier method in dealing with violence in family relationships. If one believes they have suffered from this type of violence, they may pursue a remedy through either the criminal justice system or through the civil court by way of the family law division. It is within the scope of the victim to determine which would be appropriate for their individual circumstances. Understandably, some may choose to bring charges in both jurisdictions.

Family violence can encompass a wide-range of inappropriate and often illegal behaviors. Victims can suffer physical, emotional and mental harm at the hands of those close to them. Additionally, some crimes -- such as stalking -- are considered a criminal offense and are typically prosecuted vigorously. Many victims may choose to seek a remedy by filing for a protection order, which may extend to any children of the victim as well. 

Victims of domestic abuse and those who have been accused may benefit from the advice and guidance of those who are experienced in these painful and intimate matters. While keeping in mind that some accusations will also be prosecuted within the New York criminal court system, seeking out those professionals experienced in handling the nuances involved in family relationships may bring an added element of comfort to those who are already confused and seeking only an end to destructive patterns of behavior. Every family is unique, and while violence in any form needs to be addressed, each family deserves a solution tailored to their unique circumstances.

Source: Findlaw, "New York Domestic Violence Laws", , Oct. 1, 2014

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