If you are taking your ex-spouse to court on domestic violence charges, it can be a scary, confusing time. Domestic violence can range from physical violence to more subtle accounts such as psychological abuse, withholding finances or forms of control. You most likely have documentation of abuse in some form or another. You will need to pull this together in a way that still limits contact with your ex-spouse, which is important for your safety. Here are four forms of documentation that you already might have in your possession, and can share with your domestic violence attorney to help bolster your case.
1. Phone Calls and Texts
If you have kept angry or controlling voicemails, these can be used to showcase your abuser's anger issues. If you have any examples of manipulating texts either leading up to violence or after, these can hold weight in court and can strengthen other evidence. Dates, times and frequency of calls and texts can also come into play when it comes to forms of abuse and manipulation.
2. Photograph Evidence
If you have proof on your camera or smartphone of any bruising or abuse, make sure to email this to your domestic violence attorney for safekeeping. You or a friend might also have documented evidence inadvertently in everyday photos that can match up with other witness accounts or timelines of abuse. These days the digital signature on photos can clearly showcase when and where a photo was taken.
3. Witnesses and Personal Accounts
Pull individuals to speak on your behalf either as a witness of abuse, or who can give a personal account on your ex-spouse's behavior in general. This will bring in another side of the story and can help your case hold water. If you kept a journal that may have even small details on your ex-spouse's behavior, bad days, or your reactions, this can be brought to light as well.
4. Medical Records
Doctors may not have noted your previous visits in relation to domestic violence, but if you have accounts of hospital visits for injury, you can bring in your own account. Many times those that have been abused are not ready to speak up when visiting a doctor, but if there is a medical record regarding previous injuries, this can be reviewed.
If you are getting ready to go to court to prove that you have been abused, it is important that you have specific details and documentation on your side. Pulling documentation that you already have on hand can strengthen your case. Work with your domestic violence attorney to stay safe and to have your best chance at bringing criminal charges up against your abuser.