When it comes to how to prevent domestic violence, advocates state that early intervention and access to domestic violence resources is key. Understanding your legal options and taking advantage of services provided by the courts and in the community can all help minimize your risks.
Preventing Domestic Violence
One of the most important ways to protect yourself and prevent domestic violence from occurring is by filing a petition alleging domestic violence with the court. Under Georgia’s Family Violence Act , as part of your petition the judge may provide a protective order prohibiting the abuser from contacting you or appearing in your home. Depending on the situation, they may also require them to pay child support or alimony, or to undergo counseling, including drug and alcohol treatment if applicable. Those who may file a domestic violence order with the court include:
- Former and current spouses or intimate partners;
- Parents or legal guardians of minor children;
- Stepparents and stepchildren;
- Extended family members;
- Other household members.
Domestic Violence Resources
The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) works within the community to raise awareness and to provide domestic violence resources for victims. Services offered include the following:
- Domestic violence counseling and support groups;
- Assistance with food, housing, and childcare;
- Career counseling and educational assistance;
- Emergency shelters in the event of immediate danger;
- Options to keep pets safe.
All of the above can help victims establish the independence they need, and can help break the cycle of domestic abuse and prevent it from occurring in the future.