Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Every 9 minutes, that sexual abuse victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 25 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.
Clearly, the police and criminal justice system must do more to protect victims and punish abusers. But there is work to be done on the civil law front as well. At Matteucci Family Law, Bob Matteucci has helped countless victims of sexual abuse and other forms of domestic violence sever the ties binding themselves to their abuser, and protect themselves and their loved ones from further abuse.
Attorney Bob Matteucci also represents people who have been wrongly accused of sexual abuse during a family law dispute. He has been involved in many cases where someone has falsely accused his client of sexual abuse or other forms of domestic violence in hopes of getting full custody or “winning” a divorce. This sick behavior is itself a form of abuse, and Attorney Matteucci makes sure the perpetrators of this type of abuse are called out, and not allowed to ruin his clients’ lives.
Whether you’re the victim of sexual abuse or have been wrongly accused of abuse, Attorney Bob Matteucci is ready to listen to your story, and help you find the best path forward for you and your family.
What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse refers to a wide range of harmful acts committed by one intimate partner or family member against another.
Some examples of sexual abuse by an intimate partner include:
- Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape
- Attempted rape
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
- Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts through physical pressure, emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation
- Making or distributing recordings of sexual acts without a partner’s consent
- Drugging a partner so they are not able to consent to sexual activity
- Non-consensual violence during an otherwise consensual interaction
The sexual abuse of children includes:
- Exhibitionism, or exposing oneself to a minor
- Masturbation in the presence of a minor or forcing the minor to masturbate
- Obscene conversations, phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction
- Producing, owning, or sharing pornographic images or movies of children
- Sex of any kind with a minor, including vaginal, oral, or anal
- Sex trafficking
- Any other contact of a sexual nature that involves a minor.
If any of the situations described above sound familiar, you may want to reach out to the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence:1-800-799-SAFE (7233). They will help connect with local victim support services in your area. If you are in immediate danger, you should call 911.
How Sexual Abuse May Affect Your Divorce in New Mexico
Disclosing the fact that you or your children are victims of sexual abuse may have a significant impact on any family law disputes you are involved in.
If you are getting divorced from your abuser, it is up to you to decide how much you want to reveal to the court about the abuse you have endured. New Mexico is a no-fault divorce state, which means you don’t have to prove your spouse did something terrible in order to obtain a divorce. And New Mexico courts do not take allegations of abuse into consideration when making decisions about asset division or alimony. So, if you want to keep what is going on in your personal life quiet, you can simply inform the court that you and your former partner are incompatible, and file a divorce agreement negotiated outside the courtroom for the judge to rubber stamp.
Attorney Bob Matteucci has experience helping the victims of abuse negotiate divorce from their abusers, and is often able to help his clients keep intimate details out of the courtroom. However, many abusers are not pleased their victims are leaving, and will not be open to an amicable split. When this happens, Bob will aggressively fight to protect you and help secure your post-divorce life.
Sexual Abuse’s Impact On Child Custody Cases
The best way to protect children from sexual abuse is to separate them from the abuser. Whether you are getting divorced, setting up a child custody agreement, or seeking to modify an existing child custody agreement, the court should be notified if your partner abused you or your children.
New Mexico judges generally give parents joint legal custody and ample time with their children, but our legal system takes sexual abuse very seriously.
When there are allegations of abuse, New Mexico courts may grant temporary custody of the children if the judge believes that the abuser is a threat to the children’s safety. The court will then investigate the allegations with the evidence presented. If the court finds abuse, the judge may limit the abuser’s interaction with their children by either supervised or restricted visitation or no visitation.
In supervised or restricted visitation, the abusive parent will still have visitation time but will be under supervision or under other restrictions by the court. Visitation is limited to a specific place with someone whose role is to supervise and watch out for the well-being of the child.
No visitation, however, is only ordered in extreme circumstances. In this circumstance, an Order of Protection may be needed.
Protecting You And Your Children From Abuse While Your Family Law Case Is Pending
One of the first things Attorney Bob Matteucci can help you do if you are ready to distance yourself and your children from an abusive family member is to petition the court for an Order of Protection.
An Order of Protection, also known as a restraining order, protects you and your child by forbidding your abuser from contacting you or your children or being in close proximity to you, your children, your job or residence, and your children’s school or other activities. If your abuser violates an Order of Protection, then he or she may be arrested.
If you are in immediate danger, most judges will put a temporary order of protection in place to protect you and your children until there is a hearing for a more permanent order.
Contact Our New Mexico Domestic Violence And Sexual Abuse Attorney
If you or your child are victims of domestic violence and abuse, you are not alone. No matter their age, sex, race, marital status, or economic status, domestic violence and abuse impact many families across New Mexico.
Although meeting with an attorney is a difficult step to take, Bob wants to get you the help you need to keep you and your children safe. Bob will handle your case with care, and treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve as you navigate the legal system together. Please contact the Matteucci Family Law Firm to schedule a meeting.
Matteucci Family Law Firm helps victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence from all across New Mexico, including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, and Rio Rancho.