If someone is being abused, typically their options are to: 1) report it, which requires great bravery from the victim and action by the authorities is only taken with clear visual evidence; 2) go to a shelter; 3) get a restraining order, which is usually only granted with evidence of the abuse; 4) move away; 5) stay with someone else; or 6) pursue stalking laws, which are often weak and poorly defined.
“Most options available do not help the victim to document their situation and specifics of the abuse or the abuser,” said Norma Peterson, Executive Director, Document The Abuse. “Outside of a police report or restraining order, documentation has still not occurred. In case of future serious injury, the victim goes missing or is killed, and rarely does any information exist to link them to their story. The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit changes this. But it’s vital that we connect people to this resource so we can help empower them to change their environment.”
Document The Abuse is currently working with several Aurora-area social service agencies, law enforcement and legal executives, city officials, as well as area businesses and trade associations to raise community awareness not only for the EAA but to help people better understand domestic abuse.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, anyone can be an abuser. “They come from all groups, all cultures, all religions, all economic levels, and all backgrounds. They can be your neighbor, your pastor, your friend, your child’s teacher, a relative, a coworker — anyone. It is important to note that the majority of abusers are only violent with their current or past intimate partners.” One study found 90% of abusers do not have criminal records and abusers are generally law-abiding outside the home. For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.
To learn more about Document The Abuse and the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit, including how to access it from your computer click here or visit DocumentTheAbuse.com.