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ALABAMA: Domestic Violence Resources




MY ABUSER HAS A GUN

If you have a current Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) from a court against your abuser, or if your abuser has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanor, then Federal law states that it is illegal for your abuser to buy or have a gun in their possession.

You MUST ASK THE JUDGE to specifically write in your order that the abuser cannot buy or have a gun while the order is in effect and to require that your abuser to give any guns to the police, or require the police to go to the abuser's house and get them. The guns then go to either the county sheriff or court clerk of stolen property. The district attorney in the county where the gun(s) was taken away can then file to have them destroyed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the domestic violence agency in your area immediately.


ALABAMA DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWS


Alabama Domestic Violence Overview

Under Alabama law, domestic violence occurs when crimes such as harassment, assault, menacing, reckless endangerment, or coercion are committed against a victim who is a current or former spouse, parent, child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present or former household member, or a person who has or had a dating or engagement relationship with the defendant. Domestic violence can be at the level of a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances and level of assault.


Mediation

Mediation may be required before trial in some instances. Mediation is defined as "a process in which a neutral third party assists the parties to a civil action in reaching their own settlement, but does not have the authority to force the parties to accept a binding decision." Mediation can be ordered in divorce cases. The decision to mediate may come from the court itself, or by request of one or both parties. The judge cannot order mediation if there is evidence of domestic violence, so, if you have been abused, it is important to tell the judge about the violence.


Warrantless Arrest

The police can arrest your abuser in certain instances, without having to first get a legal document at the courthouse to authorize the arrest. One such occasion for a warrantless arrest is when an offense involves domestic violence and the arrest is based on probable cause. (This means that there was a reasonable belief that the crime was committed). Under these circumstances, it does not matter whether the offense was a felony or a misdemeanor.


Child Abuse

If a child under 18 years of ages is abused by a parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, guardian, or custodian, the abuser can be punished by imprisonment no less than 1 year and no more than 10 years.


Child Custody

In child custody proceedings, the judge must consider the safety of the child and the parent who is a domestic violence victim; and the abuser's history of violence. The judge can create certain conditions if awarding visitation rights to the abuser. These conditions may include: ordering supervised visitation, ordering the abuser to attend counseling, prohibiting overnight visitation, etc. There is also a rebuttable presumption that it's in the best interests of the child to live with the parent who is not the abuser.


Harassment

It's "harassment" for your abuser to annoy or alarm you by physically hurting you and using obscene language or gestures. Harassment also includes verbal or nonverbal threats made with intent to carry out the threat that would cause you to fear for your life. Your abuser can be arrested for harassing you.


Stalking

It is called stalking if your abuser intentionally and repeatedly follows or harasses you and makes a threat to place you in fear of death or serious bodily harm. If along with this crime, your abuser is also violating a court order-- it is "aggravated stalking." Both of these crimes are considered felonies, and there are penalties which apply to the abuser. If you think you have been stalked, contact the police department and the district attorney.


Holding Period Bill for Domestic Violence Offenders, (Act 00-597)

A victim of domestic violence used to be able to file a report with the police without making a request for the perpetrator to be put in jail. Often a report would be filed as a victim hoped that their partner would realize the seriousness of their actions and stop the violence before an arrest could be made. If an arrest was made, the accused could post bond and be back home within a few hours. As of August 2000, a report of domestic violence results in the perpetrator being held for at least 12 hours to cool off; reducing tensions in the household and providing time for a victim to find safety in a shelter or with friends before the abuser is released.


Domestic Abuse Insurance Protection Act

This act prohibits insurance discrimination against victims of domestic violence. Abusers often seriously injure their partners, who then require medical treatment. Abusers also damage the victim's property, particularly items valued personally, and items needed to support themselves and their children including the home, car, books, work tools, and clothing. In the past, insurance companies have often denied insurance claims resulting from domestic violence, or canceled insurance of a victim who filed a claim on medical injuries or property damage caused by an abusive partner. This law makes it illegal for insurance providers to use a person's status as a domestic violence victim to deny insurance or deny coverage for injuries and damages suffered from the hands of an abusive partner. It also makes provision for victims to continue the insurance policy after separating from the abuser. To reduce motivation for domestic homicide, the Act permits life insurers to deny life insurance applications taken on a victim by the abuser.


Crime Victims' Act:

Requires a law enforcement agency to provide information to you (as a victim of domestic violence) within 72 hours. This information includes things such as emergency and crisis services; victims' compensation; criminal prosecution; and victims' rights. Also lists various rights of the victim throughout trial proceedings, including the right to give notice when an abuser is released on bail or after serving his sentence. You must, however, request this notice from the police or court clerk.


Specific Domestic Violence Statutes in Alabama

The Code of Alabama 1975. Title 30. Marital and Domestic Relations.

Title 13A Criminal Code, Article 7 Domestic Violence



Where to Get Help in Alabama: Victim Advocates & Support Contacts
LocationProgramPhone
STATEWIDE The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Rape
Alabama Network of Children's Advocacy Centers
Child Abuse Reports
Child Support Services
Child Protect, Inc.
Victim Compensation Program
Victim Rights Information
Volunteer Lawyers Program
Legal Services Corp of Alabama
800-650-6522
334-264-0123
888-848-3468
334-242-9500
334-242-9300
334-262-1220
800-541-9388
800-626-7676
334-269-1515
334-832-4570

Autauga County Family Sunshine Center
Family Support Center (Prattville)
334-263-0218
334-361-4703

Baldwin County CARE House (Bay Minette)
The Harbor Crisis Center (Fairhope)
Lighthouse (Robertsdale)
251-937-2273
334-928-9500
251-947-6008

Barbour County House of Ruth (Dothan) 334-793-2232

Bibb County ACES
Turning Point
205-926-3117
205-758-0808

Blount County Blount County Child Advocacy Center (Oneonta)
YWCA Domestic Violence Services
205-274-7226
205-322-4878

Bullock County House of Ruth (Dothan) 334-793-2232

Butler County Children's Advocacy Center
Family Sunshine Center
334-382-8584
334-263-0218

Calhoun County Calhoun-Cleburne Children's Center
Daybreak Crisis Recovery
Family Life Center (Ft. Payne)
Family Resource Center
Family Services Center (Anniston)
Second Chance (Anniston)
256-238-0902
256-237-6300
256-997-9356
205-831-3321
256-231-2240
256-236-7233

Chambers County Circle of Care (Valley)
DV Intervention Center
334-768-4091
334-749-1515

Cherokee County Children's Advocacy Center
Kelley's Rainbow (Albertville)
256-927-2111
256-891-0019

Chilton County Family Sunshine Center 334-263-0218

Choctaw County Harriet's House (Demopolis)
Legal Services
334-289-8988
800-644-6028

Clarke County Harriet's House (Demopolis) 334-289-8988

Clay County Safehouse: Pelham 205-669-7233

Cleburne County Second Chance (Anniston) 256-236-7233

Coffee County House of Ruth (Dothan) 334-793-2232

Colbert County Safeplace (Florence) 256-767-6210

Conecuh County Opportunity House (Opp) 334-493-2320

Coosa County Safehouse: Pelham 205-669-7233

Covington County Opportunity House (Opp) 334-493-2320

Crenshaw County Family Sunshine Center 334-263-0218

Cullman County Brook's Place Child Advocacy Center
Crisis Services of Cullman
256-739-2243
256-734-6100

Dale County House Of Ruth (Dothan)334-793-2232

Dallas County CHASM Family Resource Center
Legal Services Corp
SABRA Sanctuary (Selma)
334-875-3285
334-875-3770
334-874-8711

DeKalb County Children's Advocacy Center
Family Life Center
Kelley's Rainbow
256-997-9700
256-997-9356
256-891-0019

Elmore County Family Sunshine Center
Individual and Family Support (Wetumpka)
334-263-0218
334-514-0132

Escambia County Lighthouse (Robertsdale) 251-947-6008

Etowah County Child Advocacy Center
Love Center Shelter Home
Second Chance (Anniston)
Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit
256-547-5904
205-547-9476
256-236-7233
256-549-8128

Fayette County Turning Point 205-758-0808

Franklin County Project Help (Russellville)
Safeplace (Florence)
205-332-7501
256-767-6210

Gadsden County Child Advocacy Center
Rosehaven
256-547-5904
256-543-2408

Greene County Harriet's House (Demopolis) 334-289-8988

Geneva County House of Ruth (Dothan) 334-793-2232

Hale County HERO Family Resource
Turning Point (Tuscaloosa)
888-444-4376
205-758-0808

Henry CountyHouse Of Ruth334-793-2232

Houston County Community Safety Services
House Of Ruth
334-792-5945
334-793-2232

Jackson County Crisis Services of N. Alabama 256-716-1000

Jefferson County Clay House Children's Center
Crisis Center (Birmingham)
Child Protective Services
Court Advocates
Domestic Violence Center (Vestavia)
Ensley Family Shelter
Family Court
Family Violence Center
Gateway
Impact Family Counseling
Jewish Family Services (Homewood)
Jewish Family Services (Mountain Brook)
Legal Services
Oasis Counseling Center
Prescott House
Project SAFE
St Mary's Center For Women
Univ. of Alabama Victim Advocate
YMCA Domestic Violence Services
205-481-4155
205-323-7777
205-324-2135
205-521-9650
205-823-9939
205-780-2020
205-325-5466
205-322-4878
205-328-6010
205-916-0123
205-879-0579
205-879-3438
205-328-3540
205-933-0338
205-930-3622
205-780-6127
205-322-6854
205-348-5454
205-322-4878

Lamar County Turning Point (Tuscaloosa)
West Alabama Children's Advocacy
205-758-0808
205-695-8100

Lauderdale County Northwest Alabama Children's Advocacy
Safeplace (Florence)
256-760-1140
256-767-6210

Lawrence County Safeplace (Florence)) 256-767-6210

Lee County Child Advocacy Center
Child Care Resource Center
DV Intervention Center (Auburn)
Safe Harbor Women's Center
Safe House (Opelika)
334-705-0770
800-238-0872
334-749-1515
334-844-5123
334-749-1515

Limestone County Crisis Services of N. Alabama 256-716-1000

Lowndes County Family Sunshine Center 334-263-0218

Macon County DV Intervention Center
Hope for Families (Notasulga)
334-749-1515
334-257-4696

Madison County Crisis Services of N. Alabama (Huntsville)
Madison Police: Domestic Violence Unit
256-716-1000
256-464-8417

Marengo County Harriet's House (Demopolis) 334-289-8988

Marion County Safeplace (Florence) 256-767-6210

Marshall County Child Advocacy Center
Crisis Services of N. Alabama
Kelley's Rainbow (Albertville)
Tennessee Valley Family Services
256-582-8492
256-716-1000
256-891-0019
256-582-0377

Mobile County Crisis Evaluation Services
Jewish Family Services
Penelope House
Rescue Mission
Univ. of South Alabama Victim Advocate
334-661-3001
334-661-8959
251-342-8994
334-433-1847
251-460-6312

Montgomery County D.A.'s Office/Violence Against Women
End Violence Now (EVEN)
Family Sunshine Center
Family Violence Program
Neighbors, Inc. (Elder Abuse)
Safe Place
Second Chance Foundation
334-832-2550
334-834-3843
334-263-0218
334-206-2100
334-272-7043
334-834-5512
334-263-9733

Monroe County Legal Serices
Opportunity House (Opp)
800-819-7685
334-493-2320

Morgan County Crisis Services of N. Alabama
Professional Counseling Services (Decatur)
256-716-1000
256-355-7977

Perry County SABRA Sanctuary (Selma) 334-874-8711

Pickens County Family Resource Center (Carrollton)
Turning Point (Tuscaloosa)
205-367-9382
205-758-0808

Pike County House of Ruth (Dothan)
Sexual Assault & Violence Education (Troy)
334-793-2232
334-670-3700

Randolph County DV Intervention Center 334-749-1515

Russell County Child Advocacy Center
Children & Family Connection (Phenix City)
Crisis Center of Russell County
334-297-4962
334-448-1010
334-297-4401

Shelby County Calera Police Victim Services Unit
Intervention Services (Safe House)
Owens House Advocacy Center
SafeHouse of Shelby
205-668-3857
205-669-1877
205-669-3333
205-669-7233

St. Clair County YWCA Domestic Violence Services 205-322-4878

Sumter County Harriet's House (Demopolis) 334-289-8988

Talladega County Advocacy Center/Palmer Place
F.I.R.S.T. Family Service
SAFE Family Services Center
Second Chance (Anniston)
256-315-2662
256-761-3640
256-245-4343
256-236-7233

Tallapoosa County DV Intervention Center 334-749-1515

Tuscaloosa County Child Abuse Prevention Services
Crisis Line
Emergency Services
Family Counseling Service
Family Resource Center
Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit
Turning Point / SAN, Inc.
205-758-1159
205-345-1600
205-345-7330
205-752-2504
205-462-1000
205-752-0616
205-758-0808

Walker County Crisis Line
Daybreak Shelter (Jasper)
205-387-0541
205-387-1157

Washington County Penelope House (Mobile) 251-342-8994

Wilcox County SABRA Sanctuary (Selma) 334-874-8711

Winston County Safeplace (Florence) 256-767-6210






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Last Updated: March 9, 2011