What should I do if I see or hear a domestic dispute?

Domestic abuse and domestic violence is far too common and there may come a time when you witness a domestic violence incident or overhear a fight between partners. What should you do?

While all cases are different, here are a few actions that most domestic violence advocates can agree on:

  • Keep yourself safe – Although you may wish to be a hero and save the day, domestic disputes can be complex and dangerous—especially if some people involved are out of control. If you feel that the situation is at all unsafe, call the police immediately.
  • Remember that it’s not a private family matter – It is a misconception that domestic violence is between family members and therefore not a public issue. Domestic violence is a crime, plain and simple. Would you report other crimes if you saw them committed in public?
  • Call the police – A domestic dispute is likely breaking the law, whether someone is being physically assaulted or whether the couple is disturbing the peace. Instead of wondering what to do, let the Seattle Police decide what actions to take and whether someone should be arrested. At the very least, the authorities can deescalate the situation. That’s what they are here for.

If you suspect domestic violence but an assault or dispute is not currently taking place, there are still steps you can take to help. Express your concern to the victim if you are able to do so in a private place. Don’t judge or criticize. Let them know that you are there to help. It is difficult to know what goes on behind closed doors, even if you are close to the person that you think may be suffering abuse in his or her home. However, if you are seeing a large number of warning signs of domestic abuse and domestic violence, you should know that it is important that you speak up. While you should not pressure your loved one or give them advice, you should let them know that you are there for them, listen to what they have to say, and offer any help that you can. In addition, make sure that they know of the many local resources for abuse victims in Washington State

Do you need the assistance of a Seattle domestic abuse attorney, or do you have a question about domestic violence law? Call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today to schedule an appointment at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny