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Domestic Violence Law

Domestic violence is an act of violence committed, usually, by a partner against an "intimate partner, usually by the use of physical force or deadly weapon, which act results to economic, emotional and physical damages. "Inmate partner" include current legally-married spouse, former spouse, a person who is cohabiting or who has cohabited, and a person whom the partner shares a child with. Domestic violence is not just committed by a partner against an intimate partner, but also by a parent against his or her children, or a guardian against his or her ward. Domestic violence is also not defined by the use of physical strength or deadly weapon, but also by any attempted use of either physical strength or deadly weapon.

Domestic violence is a crime in the United States. This crime is punishable by law through state and federal rules and regulations. Majority of domestic violence issues are governed by state laws and statutes. The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 was passed by Congress to recognize that domestic violence is a national crime. The Gun Control Act was also expanded to mandate that domestic violence abusers are legally prohibited from possessing guns.

The VAWA has jurisdiction over U.S. territories, including Indian country and military bases. Under the VAWA, it is a federal crime when one partner crosses state lines and physically injures a partner, stalk or harass a partner, and violate a protection order. Under the Gun Control Act, a domestic violence abuser commits a crime when he or she possess a firearm subject to a qualifying protection Order; and when he or she possesses a firearm following that person's conviction of a crime of domestic violence.

The VAWA affords the victim certain protections, such as the right to a fair trial, right to restitution, and right to protective orders. In a VAWA case, the Court must order restitution to pay the victim the full amount of loss, which include medical and psychological care costs, housing, child care expenses, loss of employment wages, attorney's fees, costs incurred in obtaining a civil protection order, and any other losses.

Litigating a VAWA case is not as easy to showing the court bruises inflicted by a partner or a member of the family. The plaintiff needs to prove that the perpetrator's behavior and their relationship meet certain standards set by law. The establishment of such behavior and relationship will need the expertise of a domestic violence law attorney as the required standards differ from state to state. Moreover, in order for a plaintiff to receive full amount of loss, the plaintiff must keep a record of all expenses caused by the domestic violence crime. This shows that a victim need to avail the assistance of a domestic violence law attorney prior to initiating any suit against the perpetrator. Domestic violence has profound effects on both perpetrator and victim and may scar them for the rest of their lives. A domestic violence law attorney can help either perpetrator or victim sort out differences the least emotional way.

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