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There Is No Specific Demographic Associated With Domestic Violence Cases


Interviewer: Is there a typical age or demographic for the accused or the alleged victim?

James Abate: Absolutely not. I’ve had cases involving people who are boyfriend/girlfriend, I’ve had husband/wife, I’ve had boyfriend/girlfriend who were engaged and living together in a house but have not yet bought the house. I’ve had gay couples, gay married couples, gay married couples with children. One of the problems is that people have now come to the point where they cannot end relationships on their own and many times, they will want to get the courts or the police involved to help them end the relationship.  Don’t get me wrong, there are horrific domestic violence cases out there where there are men and women who require protection but because the courts want to be open to everyone and want to make a judgment call, it’s very easy to get a temporary restraining order.

There are Tremendous Consequences Associated with the Temporary Restraining Order

There are tremendous consequences to the temporary restraining order.  First of all, if you are if a final restraining order is issued, you’ll get placed in a permanent database for domestic violence perpetrators.  So, every time, you got to go to job, you will be asked “Why did you do this?” You may very well be prevented from possessing a firearm ever again.  If you own firearms, they will be taken away from you.  And in fact, one of the first things that happens when the TRO is issued is that the police come to your house and they look to see if you have any guns and they confiscate them until your case is concluded and then a hearing can be held to determine if you’re going to be allowed to keep your firearms.

In Domestic Violence Cases, It Sometimes Becomes Difficult to Differentiate Between the Victim and the Abuser

Interviewer: Are you representing clients that have been accused of a domestic violence or you’re also representing victims or how do you represent victims?

James Abate: It goes both ways.  And sometimes, there are cases where both the parties have restraining orders against each other and it’s hard to tell at first, who is the victim and who is the abuser because one of the things abusers are very good at is blaming the other person, it’s how they control them.

An Attorney Can Represent Either the Victim or the Accused

So, we have cases where we represent the victims and there are people who are very much in need of the protections.  And there are cases when we represent the accused and those consist of all the cases where people have, in fact, committed the abuse but they feel that the domestic violence, restraining order and a criminal complaint are necessary to rectify the situation.

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