How Domestic Abusers Use the Court System to Control Their Victims

domestic violence lawyer

Often, victims of domestic violence have to face their abusers in court. While these cases are extremely sensitive and victims are very vulnerable, they are still faced with the unthinkable task of being cross-examined by their abusers. Additionally, many courts lack any protective measures for victims, such as separate waiting rooms, establishing different entry and exit times for both parties, or installing a screen to avoid face-to-face contact. Instead, many victims are exposed to humiliating and emotionally exhausting in-person cross-examination by their abuser, making it challenging for them to keep a clear mind and present evidence to the best of their ability.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse in Florida, it’s important to seek counsel from a skilled lawyer. An experienced attorney will ensure your rights are protected and that you receive the fairest court trial. Here are some ways domestic abusers use the court system to their advantage. 

Many Abusers Take Advantage of the Court’s Shortcomings

For abusers, a court trial is an opportunity to control their victim. Many will use any tactics they can to make their victims look emotionally unstable or hysterical to the jury to put themselves in a better light. Unfortunately, these efforts are often successful.

Abusers often spend time stalking their victims and deeply understand what makes them tick, which allows them to question victims in a way that makes them more prone to behaviors like crying, shouting, and screaming. They also know lots of personal details about their victims and can use their cross-examination period to share shameful, private details. If a judge is ill-equipped in handling the nuances of an abusive relationship, the victim’s personal information can get shared with the jury even if they are completely irrelevant to the case, adding an extra element for victims to navigate.  

In a courtroom, these tactics by the abuser can cause victims to feel traumatized. As a result, they may react to this trauma by crying, yelling, or appearing unstable. Unfortunately, many judges and juries tend to perceive this “unstable” behavior as being mentally unsound, which can affect the trial, making it vital for victims to not let their abusers’ mind games get the best of them. 

Abusers Know How to Manipulate the Court 

No matter how guilty an abuser is, if they use effective manipulative tactics, there’s a chance they’ll see no repercussions. Not only do abusers use manipulative tactics in cross-examination, but they will also engage in fraudulent actions, such as handing in false documents or misrepresenting their income to avoid any child support. As a victim, the best chance you have at justice is working with a skilled lawyer who is well-versed in the tactics used by abusers to avoid penalties. 

Consult With a Skilled Domestic Abuse Lawyer in Central Florida

Experiencing domestic abuse is traumatic in and of itself. To additionally experience the trauma of being questioned by your abuser in court adds a layer of stress to an already emotionally heightened situation. Working with a skilled domestic abuse lawyer is the best way to prepare for your domestic abuse trial and ensure a favorable outcome. At The Umansky Law Firm, our team is passionate about ensuring victims of domestic abuse receive the justice they deserve. 

Our team has more than 100 years of combined experience in criminal law. We work closely with our clients and communicate with them through every stage of the legal process. To schedule a free consultation, call (407) 228-3838 or complete an online contact form for a free consultation.