Can a domestic violence case proceed without the victim’s participation?
The video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then fiancé out cold in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino was one of the most-publicized and documented occurrences of domestic abuse. Rice was allowed into a pretrial intervention program, which lasted one year and included anger management classes. Rice and his fiancé went ahead with their planned wedding.
The recent announcement that all charges against Rice have been dismissed has brought the case back into the public eye, and has many people questioning whether domestic violence cases are taken seriously enough.
The fact that Rice was not prosecuted despite there being such clear evidence against him is not unusual in domestic violence cases. Many domestic abuse charges are dismissed because the victim does not want to proceed with a case. Sometimes the parties want to try to work things out; other times, the stigma of a criminal matter is unwanted.
When moving forward means ending a relationship with an abuser, there are a host of considerations. While the divorce process unfolds, a restraining order might be needed. In some cases, pre-divorce child custody arrangements can be negotiated to minimize risk to children. Efforts sometimes need to be made to secure pets that the abuser has threatened. Besides contacting an attorney and the police, there are other professionals and resources to help begin the healing process once the decision has been made to leave an abusive situation.
If your family is dealing with a domestic violence issue, the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Cohen Family Law can help. Call our Phoenix, Arizona office today at (602)714-8898 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.