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Identifying Signs of Domestic Violence

Montgomery County (MD) Sheriff’s Department suggests that the following behaviors may indicate domestic violence to a police officer or dispatcher:

  • the victim is very fearful of the partner;
  • the victim states that the partner is extremely jealous;
  • the victim describes the relationship as full of conflict;
  • the victim makes references to being forced to have sexual relations with the partner;
  • the victim states police have often been called to the home;
  • the victim states that the partner controls everything the victim does.

Police and attorneys should recommend the victim apply for an order of protection if the victim has been abused or threatened, and if either of the following is present:

  • the victim fears further abuse;
  • the victim needs the abuser out of the home in order to protect herself and/or her family;
  • the abuser has threatened to take the children;
  • the victim cannot or does not wish to file criminal charges;
  • the victim wants the abuser to attend a counseling program;
  • the victim wants a period of separation from the abuser but is unsure whether to file for divorce or custody yet;
  • criminal charges are pending and the victim fears for her safety;
  • the victim’s children have been abused.

Inside Identifying Signs of Domestic Violence