The line between healthy and abusive actions is sometimes a blurry one. Whether a person is observing a questionable interaction or is a part of it, it’s common for there to be apprehension when it comes to stepping up and accusing someone of abuse. However, it is estimated that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men ages 18 and older have been the victim of severe physical violence in their lifetime by an intimate partner, and almost 50 percent of all U.S. women and men have experienced psychological aggression by such a person. This is a human rights issue that’s not bound by gender, age, religion, ethnicity, or income. Clearly, statistics show that domestic violence is a significant problem in our society.
A domestic abuse situation can result in the filing of criminal charges as well as an order of protection being issued. At McNeely Stephenson, we know that domestic violence is a difficult issue that can leave people anxious, afraid, and uncertain of what to do next. We understand what you’re going through because we have helped other people who have been where you are now. Based in New Albany, Indiana, the domestic abuse lawyers at McNeely Stephenson proudly serve communities throughout Kentucky and Indiana including, but not limited to, Jefferson County, KY; Floyd County, IN; Clark County, IN; and Harrison County, IN. Contact us by calling (812) 725-8224 or completing our online form.
In both Indiana and Kentucky, domestic violence acts are generally charged under standard criminal provisions such as assault, harassment, menacing, criminal trespass, rape, and kidnapping. Property damage can rise to the level of domestic violence only if it is combined with threatening behavior. Indiana does have a domestic battery statute, prohibiting behavior that causes a physical injury through the intentional touching of a current or former spouse, someone who lives or lived with the person as a spouse, or an individual with whom the person has a child.
For purposes of protective orders, Indiana family court defines “domestic or family violence” as anything that:
- causes physical harm or attempts or threatens to cause physical harm to a family or household member;
- places a family or household member in fear of physical harm;
- makes a family or household member engage in sexual activity by force, the threat of force, or duress; or
- abuses or kills an animal, without justification, for the purpose of threatening, intimidating, coercing, harassing, or terrorizing a family member.
In Kentucky, domestic violence and abuse encompasses physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or assault between family members or members of an unmarried couple.
Just like some people deny the presence of domestic abuse, sometimes people are falsely accused. Whether done impulsively out of anger or to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings, such an accusation has immediate and lasting consequences. A restraining order can be issued without the alleged abuser’s knowledge. These emergency protective orders (EPO) are granted if a judge finds that the allegations by the person seeking the order indicate that there is an immediate danger of domestic violence. An EPO must be properly served and generally lasts for two weeks. During that time, a hearing is held on a long-term domestic violence order (DVO), which can be effective for up to three years.
These orders of protection can greatly affect the rights of the accused abuser. He or she can be ordered to move out of the family home, be prohibited from using or selling certain property, be required to stay a certain distance from the accuser, and have restrictions placed on parental privileges. If there is probable cause showing that an EPO or DVO has been violated, the accused abuser can be arrested immediately. Kentucky even provides interpersonal protective orders (IPO) for victims of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking (available to those who are not married, cohabitating, or co-parents).
No one plans to get involved in a violent relationship and, sometimes, the abuse is not readily apparent. Constant insults, financial control, intimidation, social isolation, and even stalking are all forms of mistreatment that, along with physical attacks, can serve as the basis for abusive relationship protections. In matters of domestic violence, both the accuser and the accused have rights that need to be considered. Our experienced New Albany attorneys have the skills and knowledge needed to ensure that clients get the effective representation that they deserve.
To get more information and explore your options, contact McNeely Stephenson today by calling 812-725-8224 or filling out our online form. Whatever the specifics of your case, we are relentless in fighting for you.