When a person has been abused by someone he or she loves and trusts, it may take a great deal of effort to speak out. Often, victims are groomed by the perpetrators to believe that they deserved the abusive behavior. When he or she finally faces that person in court, it can be an intimidating event. There are guidelines that may be helpful to Utah residents who have experienced domestic violence at the hands of someone they care for that may offer them peace of mind.
Contacting any witnesses who may have seen the abuse occur or the injuries that resulted can contribute to a victim’s case, as testimony can be helpful in proving what happened. Any evidence or documentation that shows that abuse took place is important. This could include medical records, court testimony and police reports. Dated photos of injuries, 911-call audio tapes and other records are also relevant. If a victim does not have any of these, his or her testimony is still considered evidence and is very important.
Victims may find it beneficial to practice telling what happened prior to being asked to do so in court. It can help calm one’s nerves and help to recall any additional details that might have been forgotten. Being specific about what occurred and focusing on relevant information is crucial. Though it can be an emotional event — and there is nothing wrong with feeling emotional — it is still important to observe courtroom etiquette, such as being on time, being prepared and dressing appropriately. Concentrating on the truth and knowing that it is okay to not know the answer to or understand a question may be reassuring to victims.
There are many other helpful tips for pursuing a domestic violence case. Any Utah residents who are pursuing these types of charges as part of divorce proceedings may benefit from the advice of those who are experienced in this area. It may be difficult, but it can also be the first step to a new future.