How Can A Domestic Violence Expert Witness Help?
Experts estimate that some 20 people are abused by an intimate partner every minute. Domestic violence and abuse can have a significant impact on the victim's behavior in the future.
Domestic violence expert witnesses are often called upon to testify in court cases where intimate partner abuse may play a role in the proceedings.
In order to appreciate the value these types of expert witnesses can offer, you must recognize the ways in which they help the victims of domestic abuse when they take the stand.
Insight Into a Victim's Mindset
Being the victim of abuse can significantly alter a person's perceptions and beliefs. There are many occasions where a victim feels that they have no way out of the relationship. Some victims end up seriously injuring or killing their partners in response to ongoing abuse.
A domestic violence expert witness can help a jury understand the psychological impact of abuse when a victim is claiming self-defense.
This insight often proves invaluable in allowing jury members to see the events surrounding a crime from the perspective of a person who has been abused.
Help Seeking Financial Restitution
Tort cases are civil matters where one party seeks financial restitution from another. Intimate partner abuse can play a role in some tort cases. The abuser may have used manipulation and threats of violence to get a victim to give the abuser access to financial resources.
Once the victim is able to leave the abusive relationship, it often becomes apparent that financial loss is a direct consequence of abuse. An attorney can use the testimony of a domestic violence expert witness to explain the victim's damages in a way that juries can understand.
This testimony can help when a victim is seeking financial restitution in court.
Assist With Child Custody Disputes
A lot of abusive relationships end in divorce. It can be difficult for the victim of intimate partner violence to stand up for him or herself during divorce proceedings.
Domestic violence experts have conducted research and established patterns of manipulation, threats, and violent retaliation by abusers during any type of separation.
The witness can explain these patterns to a judge, as well as identify the negative impact exposure to the abusive spouse could have on the children.
A judge can make an informed ruling on child custody matters after listening to the expert testimony of someone with experience in the domestic violence field.