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What Should I Do If My Significant Other Becomes Violent?

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Navigating the Complexities of Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence is a sensitive topic, and produces complex cases in the legal system.  What can you do to defend yourself if you find yourself in this situation? When should you call the police on your significant other? Whether you’re a man or woman, if you are being physically or verbally abused, there are laws in place to protect you.

Generally speaking, the law states that any individual “can use reasonable force to defend against force, and if it’s deadly force coming at you, you can use deadly force to defend against deadly force,” Steve Palmer explains during his time on The Blitz.

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Calling 9-1-1

Involving the police from the get-go is a viable option, especially if your safety feels threatened and you are in serious need of help. Once the police are called, due to what’s called the preferred arrest policy, an arrest will likely take place when the cops arrive. The policy is enforced to separate the involved parties, preventing the confrontation from flaring up and becoming potentially more dangerous later.

If your motivation to call the police in a domestic abuse situation isn’t due to believing your safety is in danger, rather to simply teach someone a lesson or make a point (not wanting an arrest to be made), calling the police will not likely yield the results you’d expect or prefer. If possible, it may be best to leave the situation, and work to resolve the relationship issues through other means like counseling.

Using Cell Phones

Recording the act of domestic abuse with our cell phones or any other technology that we may have on our person may prove helpful. But, once you’re recording, it’s crucial to keep in mind that everything can be used from the video as evidence. However, if you are being attacked and are not engaging in any abusive behavior yourself, this could prove very helpful in defending your case.

Ultimately, every domestic abuse scenario can be dangerous and tricky. Remember your rights, remember that the police are a call away to help you, and remember that you do not have to put up with being in an abusive relationship.

Contact Yavitch & Palmer

Also, remember that Yavitch and Palmer is always here to help. If you are accused of domestic violence, don’t hesitate, call Steve Palmer (614.224.6142) or fill out our contact form.

Listen to the audio clip from The Blitz below:

Stephen E. Palmer is a trusted Columbus criminal defense attorney of more than 20 years and a partner at Yavitch & Palmer Co,, L.P.A. He has developed a distinctive approach to criminal defense work by making a sincere effort to know each of his clients on a personal level. Steve recognizes that no two cases are the same, and neither are his clients’ needs.

For the past 10 years, he has offered countless radio callers with legal (and non-legal) insight on a wide range of problems. He currently appears on the Blitz every Wednesday morning with Loper and Randi.

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