As some people in Carrollton and on the west side of the Atlanta area may know, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and has been for over three decades. According to the National Council Against Domestic Violence, this month is a great time for women, and men for that matter, who are victims of domestic abuse, as well as their loved ones, to Take A Stand against this destructive behavior.
One of the ways a person can take a stand against domestic violence, if they are in an abusive situation themselves, is to get out of the relationship and so in such a way that the violence is unlikely to recur. This is not always easy. Not only are there a lot of emotions involved, but leaving an abusive relationship can also mean losing a lot financially and legally.
For instance, one of the most common concerns a victim may have is what will happen to her children if she chooses to leave, as the perpetrator of the violence may attempt to hang on to child custody and visitation rights, often strongly insisting upon them. Sometimes, this is sadly even done because the perpetrator is trying to use the child as a pawn in order to continue to have access to his victim.
Thankfully, Georgia’s laws do allow judges to take action when the judge has evidence of domestic violence, even if there have been no prior allegations and even if there has been no criminal case. A judge must take credible allegations in to account and will act to protect the victim and the children involved. A judge may even order supervised visits in such cases, but the victim will need to be able to make his case.