Legal defence against domestic violence

Today, we’ll look at how to defend yourself, whether you’re a victim of domestic violence or a victim of false accusations. We’ll also look at the current issue of violence against seniors.

Žena sedící na posteli se obává fyzického napadení
6 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

Step one: confide and hide your evidence

This is one of the very painful topics, or when psychological terror or physical assault reigns at home instead of love and peace. Although we have had effective legal tools to get rid of the abuser for many years, many victims still hesitate to seek help because they are ashamed and afraid to take action against the abuser. On the other hand, unfortunately, there are also cases of fabricated domestic violence. It may happen that women, in the context of a divorce battle, invent child abuse or even child abuse by their husbands in order to gain custody of the children. It has to be said that in relation to proven cases of domestic violence, false accusations are at an absolute minimum.

At the outset, it is worth mentioning that there are a number of helplines in our country, and in every region you will find an intervention centre dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence. The staff at these facilities provide very practical advice in acute crisis situations and comprehensive psychological and legal assistance. We will, of course, focus on the legal side of things in our article, but it is certainly a good idea to seek psychological support if you are at risk of domestic violence. At the beginning it is very advisable to confide the whole problem, either on one of the hotlines, but ideally also in your family, a friend or a neighbour. They can all help you later and possibly even testify that you have talked about the problem. It is also a good idea to keep evidence (especially in the case of physical violence) – take pictures of broken things, torn clothes, bruises, have the origin of the injury written down in a medical report, and keep medical reports carefully.

Tip: Have you been a victim of a crime? Whether it’s the theft of a wallet on a tram, a violent assault in a park, or domestic violence, victims of crime have rights under the law. Let’s take a look at what to do in such a case and what you are entitled to.

Expulsion, interim measures

The next step that may follow is expulsion. Expulsion may be carried out by the police if, in particular in the light of previous attacks, it is foreseeable that the perpetrator will commit a further attack against life, health or liberty or a particularly serious attack against human dignity. Therefore, if you feel threatened, do not be afraid to contact the police for help. The police will evict the abuser from the house for 10 days and forbid him or her to be in the vicinity or to contact the threatened person in any way. During the eviction, the victim of domestic violence has the opportunity to think things over, contact a lawyer, an intervention centre and, if necessary, apply to the court for an extension of the eviction – in the form of an interim measure.

The court issues the interim measure, which prohibits the abuser from being in and around the common dwelling and from contacting the victim. Such a measure may or may not follow an eviction. Even if the situation is not life-threatening (for example, if the abuser is not at home) and you do not call the police, you can apply to the court for an interim measure. The court must decide within 48 hours without a hearing. The measure lasts 1 month, but the court can extend it to 6 months in serious cases.

Criminal prosecution, child custody, divorce, property division..

It doesn’t usually end with an interim measure. Along with this, criminal proceedings are often initiated, as the abuser has probably already committed a crime. It is when the abuser is gone that the victim should think about what to do next. Domestic violence most often occurs in the family between partners. The victim should consider whether to try therapy or not to continue the relationship and separate or seek a divorce. If there are minor children in the family, the court needs to make a decision about them first. And if it is not possible to agree on the property right away in the divorce, there is often another court proceeding waiting for the former spouses to settle the property. In these proceedings, domestic violence is taken into account and the victim of domestic violence should be favoured.

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It is said that it is indeed the one who knows us best who can hurt us the most. The phenomenon known as domestic violence is clear evidence of this. And as many victims confirm, the worst is not always the blows, but often the humiliation, intimidation and general psychological violence. In fact, injuries from such violence take much longer to heal. What are the most common myths associated with domestic violence? this is the subject of a separate article.

When domestic violence is invented on you

It is a rather rare practice, but in the context of divorce and separation, sometimes all weapons are used, even the dishonest and illegal ones. In some cases, this can lead to false accusations of domestic violenceAnd while it is difficult for the victim of a false accusation, the main thing is to remain calm and use all available legal means to defend yourself. Both eviction and interim measures can be challenged, and the police and the court must decide on objections or appeals soon. You can lodge a complaint against the order to prosecute. Here again, it is very important to keep any evidence that the relationship was not violent (photos, electronic communications) and to call family or friends as witnesses. Making false accusations of a crime is a criminal offence, so the person who fabricated the domestic violence, abuse or molestation can go to prison if proven guilty.

Domestic violence against the elderly

One of the most vulnerable groups of victims of domestic violence are seniors. Usually because they feel shame and guilt if they are abused or economically exploited by their own offspring, but also because they are more isolated, often ill. They rarely confide in anyone and seek help. If you know of someone like this, it is probably the main thing to try to offer help and information. The legal defence options here are the same as for other types of domestic violence.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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