Domestic Violence: Should You Report and Document Abuse?

When you are being physically or emotionally abused, you should always report the abuse to have documentation in your case down the road. If you are going through the divorce process and you have suffered from domestic violence, reporting can help you make your case and show clear evidence when you are dealing with custody issues. In California, there are mandatory reporting laws when a healthcare professional suspects that their patient has been abused. The physician is supposed to call local law enforcement to tell them about suspected abuse within 48 hours, including incest, battery, stabbing, rape, and more.

What Can YOU Do?

If you are in an abusive relationship, you should always take care to document abuse on your own. Documentation can be one of the most important components of your case, as it can help prepare you for your day in court where your voice will be heard. In many states, evidence and documentation includes the following:

  • Verbal testimony from your witnesses
  • Medical reports that show injuries
  • Photographs of abuse-related injuries
  • Police reports from calling the police on your abuser
  • Household objects broken by abuser
  • A personal diary keeping track of the abuse

If you feel as if you are in a safe situation to do so, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible to document your abuse. Doctors are trained to recognize the signs of abuse and can give you a safe environment to speak with then. If you have trusted friends and family, you may speak to them to help you document the abuse to help your case, such as a coworker keeping track of how many times your ex calls the office while you are at work. Evidence like this can be essential in an abuse case, which is why you should begin creating documentation today. Call us today if you need help with your case. We can offer you the resources to help you through the most difficult time of your life.