Domestic violence is not a simple dispute or altercation. For victims of abuse, domestic violence is a traumatic and painful experience. For this reason, as an attorney, it's not always possible for the victim to testify, or make any public statements, detailing their abuse to the court.
However, to ensure that their attacker receives their due justice, the input of the victim is helpful. In lieu of testimony, discover some approaches that might be just as effective.
For some victims, the idea of reliving the event that led to a violent incident in front of other people sounds overwhelming. Journaling provides the victim an opportunity to recount the circumstances, but most importantly, to do so at their own pace and in private.
Encourage your client to start a journal where they will recount the events that took place and ensure that he or she understands that no detail is unimportant; write down everything they can remember. Provided the judge is informed on the reason for the journal and it certified that the victim prepared the document and without influence, the journal record may be able to be submitted to the court as evidence.
However, encourage your client only to put information in the journal that they are certain took place. Inaccurately recalling information about the event, even if by accident, will hurt the credibility of the witness, and therefore their case.
Expert testimony is an excellent way to fill in the holes and connect the dots when a victim is either unable to do so or unwilling. Domestic violence expert witnesses are trained on the characteristics of abuse and the characteristics of abusers and are often able to look at the available facts concerning the claims of abuse and somewhat bring them to life.
If you have a client that is unable to testify openly, the expert witness can look at the facts of the case, and even perform interviews to help compile meaningful testimony that will tell the story of the events that took place.
It's important to note that even if the victim is willing to testify, the account of an expert witness with certified training in domestic violence is an excellent way to strengthen your case. So, their testimony should always be welcomed.
As an attorney, it's your responsibility to fight for justice on the behalf of your clients, so ensure you do everything in your power to safeguard your client. Contact a service, like Heller Consulting Group Inc., for more help.
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