Can I legally bind myself from ever accusing my husband of domestic violence?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Your question is worrisome. If you or someone you love is the victim of domestic violence, seek professional help immediately.
I do not practice in Ohio, but the general rule is that spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other under certain circumstances. See http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2317.02 and http://www.opd.ohio.gov/RC_Casebook/privilege.htm.
But what you are asking sounds different, but you have not been clear about the situation. I think that any Ohio lawyer would tell you that (a) if you agreed not to testify but wanted to, you would not be legally bound by that agreement, and (b) if someone is trying to get you to agree not to, they can't legally stop you.
But please keep in mind that domestic violence is a terrible crime, it is too often not reported, and the victims are often in fear of reprisal if they report it. There are professionals out there who can help you navigate the situation. Domestic violence is a crime, and no than non-domestic violence. But because it happens in a home environment instead of out on the street, sometimes the injuries can be longer lasting, deeper, and more damaging.
Get professional help. Don't play games with anyone asking you to agree not to accuse anyone, including your husband. And if you did agree not to, ignore the agreement. Do the right thing.
If you have any questions about dealing with the abuse, seek assistance from police or a social service organization that specializes in that. If you want legal advice, forget about it until you get protection first. In other words, the physical and psychological safety of the victims of domestic violence should be the first thing on your mind, and not what agreement you can legally be bound by.
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