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When victims want to drop domestic violence charges

A fairly common scenario when domestic violence charges have been filed against a victims intimate partner is that the batterer attempts to get the victim to drop the charges. This can be done either by threats of worse or promises of better behavior by the abuser.

These situations are conflicting to the victims. On one hand, they may want to see their abuser punished and have the opportunity to get free of the toxic abusive relationship. Yet on the other hand, they also still have feelings toward this person, especially if the abuser is the parent of the victim's children.

The courts realize this, which is why the prosecutor files the charges of domestic violence, essentially leaving the victim out of the loop of accountability. This is done to protect vulnerable victims who could otherwise repeatedly be terrorized into dropping charges.

But victims do have a role in the prosecution's cases, as they will be called upon as witnesses under most circumstances. Sometimes victims may not want to testify against their abusers. They may recant their original statements to authorities, which in some cases can result in criminal charges being filed against the victims.

There may be cases where the victims want restraining orders against their abusers to be enforced, but they don't want them incarcerated. This could be for financial reasons, for the children or simply because of the love they once had for the person who abused them so cruelly. The courts can take the victims' wishes into consideration at times.

If you are facing domestic violence in your intimate relationships, speak to a family law attorney about filing for a restraining order and/or a divorce in order to get a fresh start in a safe environment.

Source: Findlaw, "Can the Victim Drop Domestic Violence Charges?," accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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