What Should You Capture: Physical Violence & Property Damage

Physical Abuse & Property Damage

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

While this app is primarily intended to document tech-related abuse, we understand that domestic violence can take many forms. In addition to tech abuse, you may be experiencing other forms of abuse such as physical, emotional, or financial. If you want to document other forms of abuse, you could also use this app to do so. 

Documenting an act of violence can help to demonstrate the physical abuse you’re experiencing if you were to seek legal assistance. Similarly, documenting damage to or the destruction of property can provide contextual support for a physical act of violence or show signs of aggressive or intimidating behavior.

Documenting physical abuse is never a substitute for receiving medical attention for your injuries. Other options for obtaining documentation of physical abuse, either to you or your property, may include talking to your doctor or contact law enforcement. Doctors maintain medical records which could provide documentation of any injury. It is also important to note that they may be considered a witness or be asked to provide expert testimony should your case go to court.

If there is damage to property, consider contacting the police who can document the damage for you or requesting a copy of a previous police report that may have noted the damage to your property.

How to Document

The most common forms of documentation for an act of violence or destruction of property will be an image or picture and audio or visual recording. These can often be done through your cell phone. These can also be obtained by a 3rd party or anyone who was present when the violence occurred. You may also want to consider documenting if the physical injuries change over time. For instance, the bruising becomes worse or darkens.

Note: Audio recording laws vary from state to state. In some jurisdictions both parties must consent to the audio recording otherwise the recording is obtained illegally and is not admissible in court. Check local laws before documenting abuse by recording audio/sound, especially if other parties will not know that the recording is happening.

Always prioritize your safety. Do not feel that you have to document anything if you think it won’t be safe or it could escalate the person’s behavior.

For a more detailed description of how to capture the necessary details of various types of technologies please see this article on How to Gather Technology Abuse Evidence for Court. For more information on the court process and using your documentation in court, see the More and FAQ’s sections.