Few crimes are as difficult to prove as domestic violence. All too often, the worst violence between intimate partners only occurs behind closed doors, meaning no one else sees the abuse. Additionally, victims often cover up for their abusers until the moment that they leave, which can make it very hard to prove that the abuse ever occurred.
If you have decided to leave a partner who physically or sexually abuses you, the path forward requires strength and fortitude. If you intend to ask the court for protection or to seek sole custody of your children because of domestic violence, you will need to be able to prove that the violence occurred.
Personal and professional documentation will build your case
Those enduring torment from their spouse sometimes can’t just call the police. Doing so might result in even worse abuse. The same might be true of seeing a medical professional immediately after an abusive incident.
However, if possible, it is ideal for those suffering physical and sexual abuse to see a physician who can document their injuries. If not, you can document them yourself by keeping a written journal with every important detail and photographing bruises, contusions and other injuries.
You could also take pictures of items that broke when your spouse threw them at your head or the damage that they did to your furniture. Testimony from co-workers, neighbors or friends can also help substantiate your claims of mistreatment or changes in behavior that support your allegations of abuse.
Documentation is crucial for those divorcing in a domestic violence situation because it helps them get access to protection for themselves and any children they share with their abuser.