By: Undisputed Legal Inc./Family Court Process Service Department
Why Do Victims Feel Trapped? Why Don’t They Just Leave?
Many people who are abused by their intimate partners don’t want the relationship to end. They just want the violence and abuse to stop.
Even under the best of circumstances, it is not easy to end a relationship with an intimate partner. Love, family, shared memories, and commitment are bonds that are hard to break. Cultural or religious beliefs may be barriers to ending a marriage. Immigration status may be another obstacle. While ending a relationship is hard for anyone, women who are abused face the added risks of physical, emotional and psychological harm. There are risks that come with every decision a victim of abuse makes.
By: Undisputed Legal/Family Court Process Service Department
Stalking is a crime in New York State. Despite the now commonplace use of the term“stalking,” it is a serious safety risk and should be treated as such. Stalking is oneperson’s unwanted pursuit of another person. While some stalkers are strangers oracquaintances of those they target, most are current or former spouses or intimate partners who “just won’t let go.” Stalking can occur during a relationship or after it hasended. Many intimate partner stalkers also physically or sexually assault their victimsor threaten to do so.
Stalking often involves the perpetrator:
following you or showing up wherever you are;
driving by or hanging out near your home, school, or workplace, or any other place you normally go;
communicating with you or trying to do so after you’ve told them not to, including:
calling you on the phone (including hang-ups);
texting you or sending you messages via social networking sites;
sending you unwanted letters, cards, e-mails, or gifts;
asking your family, friends, co-workers, children, or others to leave messages for you or to find out information about you;
monitoring your phone calls or computer use;
damaging your home, car, or other property (or threatening to do so);
accessing your online accounts and other secure personal information; or
taking other actions that control, track, intimidate or frighten you.
While some of the stalking behaviors listed above may not seem dangerous orthreatening to an outsider – and may not be illegal on their own – a pattern of stalkingis serious and should be treated that way. If you are being stalked, it is important tokeep a record of what is happening. This can become useful evidence if you decide toget help from the police or court. Every time something happens, you should record:
the date, time and location of the incident;
a description of the incident, including photos, if relevant;
any witnesses, including their names, addresses, and phone numbers; and
any police or legal assistance you seek and the documentation and outcome of that service.
Note: If you have texts or e-mails from the stalker on your phone, save them. If you goto the police, they may want to take photos of the messages as evidence.
By: Undisputed Legal/Family Court Process Service Department
Often people think of domestic violence as physical or sexual assault. While that is true, it is only part of the picture. Many victims are never physically or sexually assaulted but are controlled and terrorized by their partners using non-physical tactics such as:
• Verbal, emotional/psychological abuse • Coercion and threats
TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDERS. After the Petition is filed, the judge must decide whether to issue a “Temporary Protection Order” based on the Petition. If this Temporary Protection Order is issued, it may include some or all of the following:
Order the victim’s home or work address, the phone number, or other related information deleted from all records filed with the court concerning the Protection Order.
Restrain the defendant from committing or threatening to commit acts of abuse, or from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating directly or indirectly with the victim, victim’s minor children, or any other designated family or household member.
The Family Court of the State of New York has the authority to decide cases affecting the lives of children and families. The court has a wide range of powers to fit the needs of the people who come before it.
The Family Court Act gives the Family Court power to hear certain types of cases. Each case filed is given its own identifying number, called a “docket number.”
The docket number begins with a letter that identifies the type of case filed:
The spouse alleging the cruel and inhuman treatment ground for divorce must prove that she or he suffers from cruel and inhuman treatment which endangers his or her well-being and makes it unsafe or improper to continue living with the other spouse. Unfortunately, for the spouse who seeks to end a loveless and miserable marriage against the wishes of the other spouse, mere incompatibility will not meet the statutory criteria for cruel and inhuman treatment, particularly where the marriage is of long duration. To obtain a divorce on cruelty grounds, there must be substantial evidence of cruel and inhuman treatment.
Cruel and inhuman treatment can involve either physical or mental cruelty. To be a reason for divorce, the treatment must have such a serious effect on the physical or mental health of the divorce-seeking spouse that it is not safe or proper for the parties to continue the marriage.
Some examples of acts that courts have held to be cruel and inhuman treatment for divorce purposes include physical attacks upon a spouse; constant screaming, profanity or other verbal abuse; gambling away the household funds; staying away from the house too often without an explanation; going out with another man or woman; and wrongfully accusing the other spouse of adulterous relations with another man or woman.
Alcoholism, by itself, usually is not a sufficient basis for divorce, unless your spouse becomes cruel or violent when intoxicated, so that you fear for your health and safety.