If your spouse or significant other is violent, you must take all steps necessary to protect your safety and the safety of your children.
Domestic violence includes attempts to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury, or placing a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, or continued harassment that causes substantial emotional distress. The Clerk of Court has the forms to fill out so you can file a domestic violence complaint. Be sure to fill out the forms completely and provide details of the violence, threats and harassment against you and your children. You may meet face to face with a judge when you file the complaint, so be sure you are prepared to explain why you need protection and to show proof of harm. Take photos of bruising and other injuries; gather the medical records that document the injuries; request 911 call recordings; preserve any audio and video recordings; print out threatening emails and text messages; get your witnesses lined up to come to court if they witnessed any of the events. The events that serve as the basis of the domestic violence complaint should be recent. Events that happened weeks, months or years ago without recent events probably won’t be sufficient for you to prevail on your domestic violence claim. You may wish to seek services at our local domestic violence shelter.