CAN I SUE FOR DAMAGES RELATED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Under the federal law, a victim of domestic violence also can seek injunctive relief or declaratory relief. This is basically the same as the order of protection that was discussed in the last section on “State Laws Regarding Domestic Violence.” 

The Violence Against Women Act allows a successful party to collect attorney’s fees in addition to damages. Legal actions under the act may be brought in state or federal courts. 

As a matter of pragmatics, it probably would not be worth the victim’s effort to sue under this new federal law unless the assailant has enough income and assets to pay damages. If the victim’s main goal is to obtain an order prohibiting future abusive conduct, the laws of most states will do as well as the federal law. 

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