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Domestic violence: Georgia's definition

If you're hurt because your husband or wife attacks you, your boyfriend or girlfriend is violent or because you're trying to protect your child, you may be a victim of domestic violence.

Georgia defines domestic violence as any act of family violence. This means any person in the family can be accused of domestic violence or be a victim of that violence. It is not a requirement that the people involved in a domestic violence situation be married; they can be partners, mothers, fathers or children. The Georgia Family Violence Act is designed to protect those who have been abused in the past or who are being abused presently by their parents, children, present or past spouses, stepparents or others in the home.

If you're getting a divorce, filing allegations of abuse against the other party can result in the ability to obtain temporary custody, financial support and other assistance. If you don't qualify under the Family Violence Act for some reason, then you can typically file a claim under the stalking laws of the state.

When you're in a situation where you need protection from abuse and violence, you need a Family Violence Protection Order. This order asks the abuser to leave the victim alone, gives the victim possession of the home and can lead to the arrest of the abuser if the law was broken. If the victim does not want to stay in the home, then the abuser may have to pay for or provide alternative housing for the victim. Your attorney can give you more information on the protections you can ask for.

Source: FindLaw, "Georgia Domestic Violence Laws," accessed June 17, 2016

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