Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence is against the law.  

One out of every four women in this country will suffer some kind of violence at the hands of her husband or boyfriend. Very few people well tell anyone-not a friend, a relative, a neighbor or the police. Victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life-all cultures, all income groups, all ages, all religions. They share feelings of helplessness, isolation, guilt, fear, and shame.

Are you abused? Does the person you love . . .

  • Track all of your time?
  • Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
  • Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
  • Prevent you from working or attending group meetings or school?
  • Criticize you for little things?
  • Anger easily when drinking alcohol or taking drugs?
  • Control all the finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
  • Humiliate you in front of others?
  • Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
  • Hit, punch, slap, kick or bite you or your children?
  • Use, or threaten to use, a weapon against you?
  • Threaten to hurt you or the children?
  • Force you to engage in sex against your will?

If you answer "yes" to even a few of these questions, it’s time to get help!

Who is affected by the law?

Arizona Revised Statutes defines the affected relationships involved as follows:

  1. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided together in the same household.
  2. The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
  3. The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
  4. The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant's spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister, or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
  5. The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.
  6. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship. The following factors may be considered in determining whether the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship:

    (a) The type of relationship.

    (b) The length of the relationship.

    (c) The frequency of the interaction between the victim and the defendant.

    (d) If the relationship has terminated, the length of time since the termination.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, what can you do?

Call the police. Assault, even by family members, is a crime. The police often have information about shelters and other agencies that help victims of domestic violence.

Leave, or have someone come stay with you. Go to a battered woman’s shelter, you can call a crisis hotline in your community, or health center and ask them to locate a shelter. If you believe that you and your children are in danger, leave immediately.

Seek medical attention immediately if you are seriously injured. Even if your injuries are minor, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries may not be obvious to you. Tell the doctor exactly how the injuries happened and make sure he or she notes this in your records.

Accept the fact that you can't solve the problem by fighting back or trying harder to be perfect. Instead, consider turning to the protection that is rightfully yours by law. 

For your safety call the police

When a police officer arrives, describe what happened. Tell the officer about any injuries such as bruises, cuts, redness, or tender areas. Also let the officer know if anyone else witnessed the incident and can support your statement. The officer will decide if there is enough evidence to make an arrest. You do not prosecute the person that may be arrested, the State of Arizona does.

If arrested, the offender will be taken away and secured until appearing before a magistrate who will determine the terms and conditions of the release.

Once an offense is referred to the courts for action, you, the victim, will be kept informed of all aspects of the proceedings according to the victims' rights law. Victims of crime are encouraged to participate in the judicial process.

The penalties for an offender found guilty of domestic violence related crime vary greatly. The court may be able to order the offender into a counseling program to begin breaking the cycle of violence.

Order of Protection

A final step to safeguarding you and your family against repeat violence is to ask for an Order of Protection. Any court may issue an Order of Protection. Find the court closest to you and most convenient and go there. It is worth the effort and gives the police a useful tool in helping you.

An Order of Protection is an official court document notifying the offender that he or she has been placed under specific restrictions. For example, the offender may be ordered not to commit any further acts of violence, to stay away from your home, school, or work place, not to harass you or other members of your family in any way. Other restrictions can be applied as needed to conform the order to your specific situation.

Once your request for an Order of Protection has been processed and filed, the order is served on the offender. Once served, he or she has the right to protest the action in a hearing before a judge if application for the hearing is made according to instructions and within the time limits imposed. You have the right to protest this action and have the right to bring witnesses to the hearing to testify in your behalf.

When an Order of Protection has been served on the defendant, he or she is prohibited by law from violating it. If the defendant disobeys the order, he or she can be arrested for this violation in addition to any other crimes committed.

Always keep a certified copy of the order itself and if possible, the Affidavit of Service, which shows that the defendant received the order. However, if you do need to call the police to report a violation, it will save time if you have these copies handy to show the officer. It is possible that the computer records are a few weeks behind, so if you have just served the order there may be no record yet. For this reason, it is wise to keep a certified copy of the order and Affidavit of Service.

Emergency Orders of Protection are available through any police officer. Emergency Orders expire at the end of the next business day. You should get a regular Order of Protection from the court before the Emergency Order expires.

VICTIM SERVICES

 

Statewide

Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1-800-782-6400

 

Coconino County

Coconino County Victim Witness Program 928-779-6163

Coconino County Victim Compensation 928-779-6163

Flagstaff Women’s Shelter 928-774-4503

24-Hour Crisis 928-774-7353

Child Protective Services 928-779-3681

Adult Protective Services 928-779-6141

Coconino Community Guidance Center 928-527-1899

Sunshine Rescue Mission 928-774-3512

 

Yavapai County

Yavapai County Victim Services 928-567-7757

Yavapai County Victim Compensation 928-567-7757

Domestic Violence Crisis Services

Verde Valley (Advocate on-call) 928-567-7710

Stepping Stone (Shelter) 928-445-4673

Verde Valley Sanctuary/Legal Advocacy Program 928-634-2511

Child Protective Services 1-888-767-2445

Yavapai Family Advocacy Center 928-775-0669