Domestic violence is different than other types of violence because it often involves family members and intimate relationships. While people don’t think twice when offering assistance to a stranger being assaulted in the street, many will pause before intervening on a domestic violence incident.

What Should You Do If You See or Hear Domestic Violence?

  • Protect yourself and those around you. Abusers can often be violent and irrational – especially those who are willing to attack in a public place. If you step between an abuser and his or her victim, the violent person may turn on you. Before you do anything, make sure that you and your loved ones are safe from harm.
  • Call the police. If an actual assault is taking place – or seems likely to take place – call 911. Seattle police are trained to respond to these situations and have the skills and power to deal with the incident correctly. Don’t threaten to call the police – just do it.
  • De-escalate the situation. While escalating the situation by jumping into the middle of it could be dangerous to you and others, you may consider de-escalation by calling attention away from the victim or distracting the abuser. Only take this step if you are in a public place and if you feel comfortable doing so.

It is important to note that the vast majority of domestic abuse incidents do not take place in public – they occur in the home where the abuser has privacy and control.

If you need legal assistance with a Washington domestic abuse case, call Seattle domestic violence attorney Molly Kenny today at 425-460-0550.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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