Victims of domestic violence are often caught in a cycle that is difficult to get out of. While it is always important for a victim to listen to their instincts to determine if they are in danger, when possible, it is a good idea to document the abuse to help a legal case down the road.
Every person in a violent situation has unique needs and challenges. From verbal testimony to a personal calendar kept with dates of abuse, the Office on Women’s Health from the Department of Health and Human Services outlines how even the smallest piece of evidence can help keep someone safe.
There are many ways to document an injury or a case of abuse, including the following:
- Visit a healthcare provider trained to look for incidents of abuse
- Obtain copies of any police reports filed
- Take pictures of injuries
- Allow a partner to go to voicemail if they are calling non-stop
- Save any digital evidence, such as threatening texts or emails
It is also a good idea to take pictures of the house or room where the violence occurred. If any household items broke during the incident, document those as well. If possible, it is beneficial to have pictures of any weapons that an abuser used.
Small pieces add up over time
Small snippets of verbal testimony from witnesses or from the abused can add up over time to lead to a compelling case against an abuser. Domestic violence situations can often feel hopeless, but building a legal case with the right evidence goes a long way toward protecting the innocent.