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Man allegedly attacks girlfriend over steak dinner

For some, February is a time of love when sweethearts trade chocolates and roses. For others, the month of February can be a tense period where reports of domestic violence occur more frequently.

Earlier this month, a man allegedly attacked his girlfriend after claiming that she was trying to hurt him because the steak she made him for dinner tasted different than hers. She was stabbed in the forehead and hand. During the assault, police say he cut off her pinky finger. She has since been released from the hospital. He remains in jail on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

This event illustrates that people do not have to be married to report domestic abuse. Domestic violence can occur in all types of relationships. While a childless, unmarried person looking to exit an abusive situation may not have to go through the legalities of divorce, it may still be necessary to get an order of protection.

Maryland allows victims of domestic violence to obtain a temporary order of protection at any hour, even on weekends and holidays. This temporary order is followed up by a hearing within a week to decide whether or not to issue a more permanent, final protective order.

The hearings have to balance one party's safety with another party's rights and freedom, so expert legal representation can be helpful to ensure that the court clearly understands and considers the most relevant legal facts. While Maryland places a high importance on the safety of domestic abuse victims, an attorney with expertise in domestic abuse law could make all the difference in the hearing's outcome.

Source: CBS News, "Cops: Man stabbed girlfriend, cut off her finger over the taste of his steak dinner," Casey Glynn, Feb. 8, 2012

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