If you are in an abusive relationship and you are thinking about pursuing legal action, such as a temporary restraining order or divorce, it can help to document your partner’s abuse. Depending on the situation, such documentation could be useful in future court proceedings. The following are some ways you can document domestic violence in California in a safe manner.
Visit your doctor
Medical professionals are trained to recognize signs of abuse. They could even be a safe person to disclose the abuse to. There are safe ways doctors can note abuse in medical injury without necessarily having the incident go to the police.
If you have a trusted friend, relative or co-worker who can document incidents of abuse, this could help as well. For example, a trusted co-worker could keep a log of how many times your partner phones you while you are at work. Or, if you have a journal, you could keep the journal at a trusted friend’s house rather than your own.
It may not be safe to rely on your phone camera for taking pictures of the abuse. A disposable camera may be safer, or you could have someone you trust take the pictures for you and keep them at their house.
Voicemail and digital evidence
If your partner is repeatedly calling you on your cellphone, consider letting the call go to voicemail if doing so would be safe. Then, save the voicemail. Similarly, save abusive or threatening emails in a folder in your inbox. Or take a screenshot on your smartphone of repeated phone calls or threatening texts made by your partner. Then send the screenshot images to a trusted friend or family member and delete them for your own safety.
Your safety is paramount
If you are in an abusive relationship, your safety is paramount. If you can safely document the abuse, this could be useful if you take further legal action such as pursuing a temporary restraining order or filing for divorce. However, if you fear for your safety, you may want to seek help from a professional in the Riverside area, such as a family law attorney, before moving forward.