What does every victim need to know about domestic violence lawyers?

If you are a victim of domestic violence, contacting a specialized domestic violence lawyer should be a top priority. It’s important to choose an attorney who has significant experience specifically handling domestic violence cases. An experienced lawyer will understand the complex dynamics of abusive relationships and the common legal hurdles victims face. They strategically navigate the legal system to secure the most favorable outcomes. Don’t rely on a general practitioner – seek out a domestic violence law specialist. 

Immediate help is available

Domestic violence lawyers know that victims often need urgent help attaining emergency restraining orders or finding secure shelter. Reputable lawyers have processes in place to meet with victims quickly and provide immediate assistance. Many also partner with domestic violence agencies that offer 24/7 crisis response. Victims may feel ashamed about abuse and blame themselves. Domestic violence lawyers know that the blame lies solely with the perpetrator. 

Honesty is encouraged

While hard, being honest with your lawyer about the specifics of your situation including the frequency and severity of abuse is key. Information you share is kept completely confidential under attorney-client privilege. The more details lawyers have, the better they can assess risks and build a robust case on your behalf. These lawyers work with victims from all walks of life. Countless others have gone through similar circumstances. Your lawyer connects you to support groups, advocacy organizations, and peer networks so you don’t have to feel alone on this journey. Help is out there.

Understand all your options

Domestic violence victims obtain restraining orders, divorce, child custody filings, immigration petitions, civil suits, and more. An attorney will educate you on all potential options and help you decide what steps to take based on your unique priorities and circumstances. Although clients may want full justice and retribution, domestic violence lawyer prioritize victim safety above all else. At times, that may mean recommending legal compromises like drops in charges or mutual restraining orders if it enhances your physical security. Your lawyer has your back. The legal system often moves slowly. Your lawyer will warn you that it could take months to get a disputed divorce settlement finalized or a permanent restraining order approved. While frustrating, comprehensive preparation and persistence do ultimately produce results. 

Free and low-cost help exists

If finances are a concern, know that many domestic violence lawyers offer free consultations and some provide pro bono or low-bono representation. Nonprofits and legal aid organizations also have attorneys on staff focused specifically on assisting domestic violence victims at little to no cost. Seek out these resources. Your lawyer will likely encourage you to continue therapy, join a support group, and make time for self-care during the legal process to avoid burnout. You need to take care of yourself to attain the strength and stability you deserve.