How do we support our abused friend and her daughter?
September 15, 2008 11:30 AM Subscribe
Last night, a close friend of ours was the victim of a domestic dispute. Her live-in boyfriend became convinced of infidelity in the relationship (a relationship that was headed to the dumps anyway), came back to their apartment, violently pulled her off of the couch screamed at her and repeatedly punched her in the stomach. Police were called, no charges filed (Red flags here). Now she and the daughter are staying with us, but are afraid to return home. Where do we go from here?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (10 answers total)
Lets call the adult female friend Lisa, the daughter Molly and the boyfriend Joe. Joe recently moved to this city to start a relationship with Lisa about three months ago. Molly is Lisa's daughter, but not Joe's. Before Joe arrived, Lisa and Molly shared the apartment with Lisa's adult male friend, Ken. Ken and Lisa are the leaseholders and only rent payers. This is taking place in Atlanta, GA.
I was not a witness to any of this, we just picked up Lisa and Molly late last night and brought them here to be safe. Lisa called the police after Joe became violent last night (they had a history of vicious arguments but no physical violence). Because Lisa defended herself and left scratch marks on Joe, but no evidence (bruises, etc) were yet visible on her, the police told her that if she pressed charges, they would be forced to arrest her as well. Joe refuses to leave the apartment and the police told Lisa that because he has been allowed to stay in the apartment for more than a week, he has legal rights as a resident and can only be removed through a lawful eviction process. From the bit of research I have been able to do, this appears to require a 30-day notice in the state of Georgia. However, it seems to me that domestic abuse law should take precedence over tenant's rights.
This website: http://www.gcadv.org/html/help/abused.html seems to suggest a Temporary Protective Order, and that seems like a way to go. Where does Lisa go from here? How can we be of the best assistance to her? I understand that you are not my lawyer, doctor, etc. etc.
Throwaway email: ConcernedFriendATL@gmail.com