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Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorney

rhode island domestic violence attorney

Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorney

Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorney

In Rhode Island, one out of every four residents is a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence is defined as “violent or aggressive behavior within the home”. Every year, Rhode Island domestic violence attorney can handle thousands of cases of abuse and violence within the home. Domestic violence can be between any two members of a family or household, not just between spouses. It can occur between couples, siblings, roommates, or between parents and children, regardless of age, race, economic class, religion, marital status or sexual orientation. Anyone can become a victim of domestic abuse. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. The key to overcoming domestic violence is to recognize the signs, remove yourself from the situation, and take steps to protect yourself.

Cycle of Abuse

Domestic violence is a pattern of repeated physical and/or emotional abuse. It is much more than just physical violence and can be any behavior that is used to gain or maintain power and control over another person. Physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats that are used to influence or control another person are all forms of abuse. This includes any actions that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone. At it’s most extreme, domestic violence can mean rape or murder, but most often domestic violence is made up of lesser forms of physical, psychological or economic abuse. Domestic violence covers a wide spectrum of abusive behaviors, including:

  • Using physical force or abuse – pinching, restraining, pulling hair, hitting, choking, or kicking
  • Withholding or controlling access to money and making the victim financially codependent
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Criticizing behaviors, decisions or appearance
  • Pressuring, threatening or intimidating you
  • Verbal abuse – cursing, yelling, name calling or humiliation
  • Using mind games or manipulation
  • Controlling what you wear, what you eat or where you go
  • Destroying your clothes, furniture, or home
  • Forcing or coercing, or attempting to coerce the victim into sexual contact or behavior against their will or without consent
  • Threatening to hurt you, your children, your pets, or people you care about
  • Dismissing your feelings or making you doubt yourself or feel crazy
  • Threatening to kill you or themselves if you leave

Red Flags

Some warning signs of abuse in a relationship include:

  • Pushing for quick commitment or coming on strong
  • Jealous or possessive behavior
  • Calling constantly or showing up unannounced
  • Controlling behavior, interrogation, financial control, and rigid roles
  • Having unrealistic expectations and expecting you to meet their every need
  • Isolating you from friends and family and accusing them of being detrimental
  • Lack of accountability and making others responsible for his or her feelings
  • Hypersensitive or easily insulted
  • Cruelty to animals or children, brutal punishment, and teasing 
  • Excessive use of force and roughness during sex
  • Being verbally abusive, overly critical, using degrading comments or name calling
  • Mood swings or hot and cold behavior
  • History of abuse – admits to violence in the past without taking accountability
  • Making threats of violence and backtracking afterward

Having a Plan

Having a cohesive plan is key to getting out of a domestic violence situation safely, and staying out of it permanently.

  • Phone Numbers – Keep important phone numbers – for family, friends, or a domestic violence shelter – on hand at all times. This means not just on your cell phone.
  • Emergency Bag – Pack a getaway bag – money, an extra set of keys, important documents, and extra clothes – and leave it in a safe, accessible place or with someone you trust so you can leave quickly when you need to.
  • Children – Tell your children’s school, teachers and care provider who is allowed to pick up your children. Teach your children about 911 and how and when to call the police.
  • Family and Friends – Find support from trusted family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Let them know what is going on. Being a victim of domestic violence is not shameful or the victim’s fault.

Protect Yourself

The legal proceedings around domestic violence in Rhode Island can be confusing and overwhelming. A Rhode Island domestic violence attorney can help you get a grip on what is happening, and how to move forward. Charges vary based on the severity of the victim’s injuries, whether children are involved and whether a protective or restraining order was violated. There are several forms of restraining orders in place to protect victims from being physically abused, threatened, harassed or stalked, and to protect children, pets and property. If a long-term order is needed, an attorney can help victims obtain a lasting protective order from the courts.

The first step is to remove yourself and your loved ones from immediate danger. After that, a Rhode Island domestic violence attorney can assist you with the proper procedure to protect yourself and your family from future abuse. Any threat of physical harm should be handled by the proper authorities and with assistance from an attorney who specializes in domestic violence. It is essential to get an order of protection as soon as possible. A Rhode Island domestic violence attorney understands this emotionally draining process and can help victims get the support they need. Take the steps to keep yourself out of harm’s way, and remember that you are not alone. 

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