Articles Tagged with domestic violence

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domestic violence superbowl sundayDomestic violence is an epidemic in this country that directly impacts roughly 20 people every minute throughout the United States. Studies indicate that holidays and special events that often revolve around alcohol consumption tend to see an escalation in domestic violence episodes, meaning the weeks ahead could prove to be dangerous for many households. If you suspect potential violence is in your future, a good family lawyer may be able to provide some legal options to help keep you safe.

The Nature of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence (DV) involves people who formerly or currently are experiencing intimate relationships with each other. In addition to the physical assaults that leave visible evidence, DV can also involve coercive behavior, bullying, threats, and manipulation. Batterers may engage in any number of behaviors, including:

  • Isolation: Keeping the victim away from family members and other support networks, controlling time and movements, criticizing friends and family, and discrediting the victim in social groups such as church or the workplace;
  • Economic abuse: Controlling the finances, not allowing earnings to occur, ruining credit ratings;
  • Psychological abuse: Verbally attacking vulnerabilities, humiliating, ignoring feelings, stalking, degrading, and other demeaning mind games;
  • Sexual abuse: Sexual name-calling, jealousy, forced sex, denying contraception;
  • Physical abuse: Locking the abused in or out of the home, spitting, biting, scratching, hitting, shoving, strangling, burning, kicking, or throwing objects at the victim.

When looking at the symptoms of domestic violence, there seems to be one key undercurrent – issues of control.

Do Domestic Violence Incidents Increase on Super Bowl Sunday?

There does appear to be evidence that incidents of domestic violence may surge on Super Bowl Sunday. Some blame it on testosterone-filled rooms and angry fans. Others associate it with high levels of alcohol consumption. Whatever the confluence of factors, we know that DV has the underpinnings of control, and many who study the problem are convinced that this one day of the year poses a particular risk to individuals in unhealthy relationships.

Domestic Violence and Getting a Restraining Order

If you are in a relationship in which you feel controlled by someone else, you may very well be a victim of domestic violence. Studies indicate that disputes about infidelity, chronic substance abuse, and untreated issues related to mental health can all be red flags. Before things get out of control, you should consider getting a restraining order against someone who has violent tendencies.

Do not put yourself and your children at risk by listening to tearful apologies from your abuser or promises for happier times. The fact is that circumstances generally do not improve without significant intervention. Continue reading →

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violenceDomestic violence is not what most of us thought about while looking forward to this past holiday season. The holiday season and the new year is seen by many as a time of unity and love. But not for everyone. There are those who, spurned and alone, are strangers to the warmth that envelopes so many homes. Feelings of resentment, anger, and vengefulness can bubble up during the holiday season more than at any other time of year. In families, these feelings sometimes lead to violence.  If you were on the receiving end of domestic violence this past holiday season, could it happen again?  You may want to seek legal advice as to how to protect yourself.

Threats Turned to Domestic Violence in California

Sadly, far too often feelings of desperation can lead to deranged behavior that impacts innocent individuals, households, and entire communities:

Three children were killed in front of their mother in September of 2017 in what authorities called a tragic domestic violence incident;

In November of 2017, a gunman killed five and injured ten others in a rampage that occurred after threats toward at least one of the victims.

When You Require Legal Help

If you have been threatened, harassed or stalked, you may need a legal intervention to keep you safe. Remember, violence can occur in many ways:

  • Physical harm due to reckless or intentional behavior;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Inciting fear with irrational behavior, threats, bullying, or stalking;
  • Destruction of property.

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

If a romance or marriage ended badly, and threats are mounting, you may need to file a domestic violence restraining order. This is appropriate when it involves close family members, as well.  For other relationships that were not as close, such as neighbors or former friends, a civil harassment restraining order may be necessary. Adult dependents and persons aged 65 and above may file an elder or dependent abuse restraining order. Finally, if you are being harassed or stalked at work, you may require a workplace restraining order. Initially, you will apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO) which generally lasts for a couple of weeks, when a hearing will be held to determine whether there is merit in applying a full restraining order.

Expectations of a Restraining Order

Any restraining order requires the person for whom the order was issued to refrain from contacting you or other members of your household.  That means:

  • No calls, texts, emails or visits;
  • No stalking at work or school;
  • No gun possession.

Any violations of the order could result in fines and/or incarceration. Continue reading →

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abusive marriageAre you trapped in an abusive marriage? If you want to get out of the relationship, but have fears about how your spouse will react, you are not alone. Studies show that roughly 40% of women in California suffer from physical violence with an intimate partner at some time in their lives. If you find yourself in such a situation, an experienced, discreet attorney may be able to help.

Facts About Abusive Marriages and Domestic Violence

  • Women aged 18-24 are 11% more likely to have experienced physical violence in the past year than their older counterparts;
  • Women who were pregnant in the past five years are 12% more likely to experience violence than those who have not been pregnant;
  • Three-fourths of women who live in violent homes have minor children living in the home;
  • 5% of homicides statewide were related to domestic violence in 2008, with a total of 113 fatalities;
  • Of those fatalities, 88% were women.

Divorcing an Abusive Spouse – What You Need to Know

If you wish to extricate yourself from and abusive marriage, you may face an angry spouse who threatens your safety and that of your children. Be aware of several key points:

  • A contested divorce will take at least six months;
  • Courts are more likely to consider physical and/or sexual abuse than emotional abuse, which is an issue when seeking Abuse Prevention Orders;
  • The court can impound your address, meaning it will be blacked out in all court documents so your spouse will not know where you live;
  • Restraining/protective orders can be issued requiring your spouse to stay away from you and your children;
  • If there is not documentation of your injuries, you may be regarded as hysterical, or worse, vengeful in your pursuit to defame your spouse;
  • You may be asked to go through mediation prior to getting your divorce granted;
  • Your abuser will likely have some form of visitation rights with your children, meaning you may be in contact for years to come.

Protect Yourself Right Now

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799 SAFE. They can tell you about resources and local agencies that are set up to help women and children who need protection from abusers.  In the meanwhile, here are some things you should be doing:

  • Keep your plans hidden. Do not keep phone numbers, filers or other information related to domestic violence in the home where your abuser may find them;
  • Have an emergency plan to escape during an violent emergency; keep an overnight bag with prescriptions and other essentials ready to go if you can safely hide one;
  • Make your plans to leave permanently during an open window of time when your abuser will not be around to stop you;
  • Try to hide some money or get your own credit card, but make sure you have a PO Box to receive mail;
  • Find out about shelters that could accept you and your children;
  • Leave your cell phone behind so your abuser cannot track you;
  • Keep a journal, pictures, medical bills, and any other documentation if you can do so safely;
  • Keep online information safe;
  • File formal charges and get a protective order.

Continue reading →

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