Legal Options for Survivors of Domestic Violence

 Survivors of domestic violence, which is a pattern of behavior where one person seeks to gain and maintain power over another in an intimate relationship, have legal options in South Carolina to keep them safe from their abusers and get compensation for the losses due to their experience of violence. At Ayers Family Law, we work to support survivors of domestic violence on their journey through the justice system, which can help to support the long-term healing process.

In South Carolina, domestic violence is a criminal activity that can be brought to the court system if someone cases harm or injury to a household member, or somebody is threatening to cause harm or injury to a household member while having the resources to complete the action. If you have experienced physical harm or the threat of harm from a household member, including spouses, former spouses, and people of the opposite sex who are living together, then you may have legal rights to secure your safety and protection. You can find some of the legal options provided for survivors of domestic violence in South Carolina below:

Police Intervention

Domestic violence not only have physical consequences, but it also impacts the emotional well-being and safety of the survivor. If you are experiencing harm from a partner you can call the police in order to protect yourself from further abuse. In South Carolina, the police do not need a warrant to arrest the abuser. The police may arrest the abuser even if they did not see the violence occur. In addition, if a neighbor or someone you know calls authorities, then the police are also able to arrest the abuser for domestic violence. If the victim has visible injuries or there is probably cause of injury then they will arrest one of the partners.

High Alert

There are differently levels of both physical and emotional violence that occur in the context of domestic violence. South Carolina believes that physical violence directed toward a household member with a deadly weapon or that causes serious injury as well as violence that causes imminent fear of serious injury or death is punishable by more severe consequences. If an abuser uses objects such as guns, knives, and other deadly weapons then they may be tried in a court of law for domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, which often means more harsh punishment for their behavior.

Protection Orders

A protection order, which is commonly known as a restraining order, is issued by a court and prohibits the abuser from contacting or coming within the vicinity of the survivor. A protection order may be pursued by an individual or for the whole family, if the family includes a minor child. A petitioner must file a Petition for an Order of Protection in order to receive a restraining order. After the petition is filed and the abuser has been served paper there is a hearing within fifteen days; however, if the survivor is fearful of their immediate safety then a court may issue an Emergency Order with a hearing that occurs within twenty-four hours. At Ayers Family Law we understand that domestic violence can be very serious and we treat all of our clients with respect and patience. If you, or someone you loved, has experienced domestic violence and would like to talk through your options then you call us at 843-701-4197 where we are happy to answer any questions that you have.