Contact Us (408) 416-3149


Building Your Case for Freedom: How to Document Domestic Abuse

Posted by Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation | Jan 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

When Kari was a teenager, she loved documenting her life. She still has a MySpace account floating around somewhere, its photo pages and diary entries full of evidence that she had a fun and fulfilling childhood. Now, as she faces the necessity of documenting her injuries due to domestic violence, the prospect of using words and camera aren't so appealing anymore.

Her feelings are understandable. Accounts of being slapped for burning dinner and taking photos of a black eye without tons of makeup to cover it are the last type of record anyone wants to collect. But Kari has had enough, and this documentation will form the basis of the charges she intends to file against her husband, Mark.

If you are being physically, sexually, mentally, and/or emotionally abused by an intimate partner or a member of the same household, take these steps to document each incident. These details can be instrumental in getting the help you need to stop the violence.

Take Photographs

It really is true: a picture is worth a thousand words. If your abuser leaves you with any physical injuries, take pictures. You should also photograph any of the following:

  • Any disarray in your home after the attack, such as broken objects, overturned furniture, or kicked-in doors
  • Weapons that the abuser used to threaten or harm you

Make sure that the images are either time-stamped or include the date and time in their digital information.

Keep a Written Record

Document all instances of abuse in a calendar or diary. Note the date, time, what led up to the attack, and what transpired. These details can be used to support photographic evidence.

Acquire Copies of Police Reports and Medical Records

If you or a witness called 911 during or after an incident, get a copy of the police report. If you required medical treatment for your injuries, request copies of your treatment records and any photographs that the staff may have taken.

Preserve Digital Evidence

If your abuser frequently makes threatening calls, let them go to voicemail and save the messages. You should also save any texts or emails that are aggressive or threaten you with harm.

Talk to Witnesses

Talk to anyone who saw or heard you being abused or witnessed the aftermath. Ask them to provide you with a written account of what they witnessed and confirm their willingness to testify in court if necessary.

Keep Everything in a Safe Place

Make sure that you store all evidence in a location where your abuser cannot access or destroy it. This could be in a safe deposit box, your workplace, or the home of a family member or trusted friend. If you have retained an attorney to assist you with a divorce or legal separation from the abuser, email copies of all evidence to them or drop the files off at their office.

Get Help Today

If your spouse or intimate partner is abusing you or your children in any way, you need to take immediate action to protect yourself. Have a safety plan first. Attorney Madan Ahluwalia has helped victims of domestic violence and abuse escape their situation for years and will provide you with both legal counsel and advice on options that can give you the protection and respite you need to build a new life. To schedule a confidential consultation, please contact us.

About the Author


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today

Fill out our consultation form (Family Law Form or Immigration Form) and schedule an appointment ( Schedule Online).