Domestic Violence

questions & answers

Question: We just found out that my sister-in-law is being physically abused by her new husband. She refuses to call the police because he says he will kill her and her family. Can we call the police and what is the likelihood he will be arrested, held and for how long? She fears he will be worse when he is released.

Answer: A common reason often cited by victims of crime, particularly domestic violence crimes, for not contacting the police is fear of retaliation from the perpetrator. This is a very real and often realized concern. However, you can and should contact the police if an incident is occuring that you fear jeopardizes the physical health and safety of your sister-in-law. Law enforcement officers are highly trained to respond to domestic violence calls, assess the lethality of the situation, and provide resources and options for safety -- including referrals to domestic violence shelters and information on orders of protection. The liklihood of arrest and the charges that would determine how long the perpetrator is held are dependent on a number of issues including; evidence of the crime, participation of the victim in providing statements on the scene, severity of the charges and how quickly the perpetrator is processed in the system (how quickly s/he is arraigned, can s/he post bond, etc). Providing support and resources to someone in an abusive relationship is one of the most important and effective ways to help. The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers some excellent information and resources at http://www.azcadv.org/helping-a-dv-victim/top and also has a legal advocacy hotline that can help you learn more about the criminal justice process by calling (602) 279-2900 or toll-free: (800) 782-6400.

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • We just found out that my sister-in-law is being physically abused by her new husband. She refuses to call the police because he says he will kill her and her family. Can we call the police and what is the likelihood he will be arrested, held and for how long? She fears he will be worse when he is released.

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FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

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