Victims of domestic abuse have legal tools available to help end the cycle of violence and seek just compensation from their abusers. Domestic abuse is rarely a simple or straightforward problem to solve. The victim can be faced with complex and contradictory feelings, and practical concerns like children or income can add to an already difficult circumstance. But understanding the options can be an important first step toward a lasting solution.
An important point about domestic violence is that can occur not only between married people but within a broad swath of important relationships. It also covers not just physical attacks but other types of abuse as well. In Nevada domestic violence can occur between current or former spouses, relatives, roommates, people who are currently dating or previously dated, people who have had a child together, and between a person and their minor child. Domestic violence may be a physical attack (battery), an assault (placing someone in fear of being physically attacked), forcing someone to do something by threat or use of force, sexual assault, harassment, false imprisonment, or forceful entry into another person’s residence. NRS 33.018.
Seek a protective order.
One of the simpler mechanisms available from the legal system to protect victims of violence is the protective order. Protective orders are available for anyone who asserts that he or she is a victim of domestic violence or has been threatened with domestic violence. NRS 33.020. They are also available for victims of stalking, harassment, or sexual assault, as well as the parents of children who have been mentally or physically abused. A protective order is issued by a court and provides a legally binding instruction to the person bound by the order (in technical terms, the “adverse person”) to not do certain things. The scope of a protective order can be as broad as necessary to help the applicant feel safe, and may include restrictions on where the adverse person can go, with whom they may interact, and other restrictions. An applicant may obtain a temporary protective order lasting 30 days without involving the adverse person in the proceeding. An extended protective order lasting up to one year may only be issued after a hearing.
Protective orders that are issued to stop or prevent domestic violence can have important effects beyond restrictions on where the adverse person may go. Someone who is subject to an extended protective order may be ordered to surrender any firearms they own and may be prohibited from purchasing them during the term of the order. NRS 33.031. The adverse person may also be ordered to pay child support.
Ask the police for help.
Domestic abuse is a crime. Where a police officer has probable cause to believe that battery (that is, a physical attack against another person) has taken place in a domestic context, the officer is authorized to arrest the perpetrator without a court-issued warrant. NRS 171.137. For many victims of abuse the decision to call the police is difficult to make, with the threat of violent retaliation looming over the choice. But when serious harm is threatened, the police can stop a bad situation from getting worse.
Talk to a caring attorney.
The attorneys at the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez pride themselves on providing personal, compassionate service to each of our clients. We understand that domestic abuse is a complicated and difficult problem and we are glad to help victims explore their legal options. For a free attorney consultation, reach out to us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contacts page.