Georgia’s Family Violence Act governs issues related to domestic violence . It outlines what family violence is, who it affects, and ensures protection for victims. It also provides guidelines for how to prevent domestic violence from occurring through strong penalties and by requiring offenders to undergo treatment.
Key Elements of Georgia’s Family Violence Act
The Georgia Domestic Violence Benchbook states that prior to the Family Violence Act, which was enacted in 1981, domestic violence was treated the same as any other criminal act. Through the Act, there are increased penalties for abusers and greater protection for victims. Key elements include:
Victims of Domestic Violence
In addition to spousal abuse, intimate partner violence, and abuse of children, the Family Violence Act defines victims of domestic violence as including other family members or anyone residing in the home;
Types of Domestic Violence
Under the Act, types of domestic violence include assault and battery, as well as stalking, harassment, false imprisonment, kidnapping, reckless conduct, damage to property, threats and intimidation.
Protection for Victims
The Family Violence Act offers increased protections for those who are abused. Under Section 19-13-4 of the Georgia Code , a protective order or consent agreement can be granted, prohibiting the abuser from contacting the victim or returning to the home, while requiring payment of child support or alimony.
Penalties for Abusers
To prevent domestic violence, the Act penalizes abusers by imposing fines and increased jail sentences, while requiring them to participate in drug and alcohol classes and counseling through domestic violence resources.