Articles Posted in Domestic abuse charge resources

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2020-Los-Angeles-domestic-violence-1-300x200If there’s one standout news story regarding domestic violence in 2020, it’s the one that has been the most often repeated: the coronavirus pandemic has caused a significant spike in domestic violence cases across the globe. City after city and nation after nation began reporting increases in domestic violence calls starting shortly after quarantines began—along with increased cases of sexual abuse and child abuse. The massive effort to keep people safe from the virus with stay-at-home orders has had the unwanted effect of isolating victims in close quarters with their abusers.

Keeping this new uncomfortable reality in context, every tragic story of domestic violence typically contains a lesson—one that may ultimately help keep other couples from experiencing the same thing. Let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy news stories about domestic violence over the past year to see what we can learn from them.

An Awakening at Death’s Door

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teenage-DV-defense-200x300We typically think of domestic violence as occurring between married couples, live-in partners, adults who are dating, etc. But what happens when a teenager is arrested and charged with domestic violence? Perhaps the teen got into a physical altercation with a girlfriend or boyfriend, or maybe the teen allegedly attacked a parent, sibling, or another relative. What does the process look like then?

If you are a teenager facing domestic violence charges—or a parent with a teenager who’s been charged—you may naturally feel some apprehension about what to expect. Whether this was a simple misunderstanding or someone actually crossed a legal line, how will these criminal charges affect your life and future, or that of your child?

Juvenile or Adult?

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DV-red-flags-300x172Domestic violence is more common in America than anyone is comfortable admitting. The latest estimates from the CDC say 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men suffer from some form of intimate partner violence. And over the past few months, reports across the board have consistently told us that domestic violence rates are increasing dramatically due to the pandemic. That’s enough to categorize domestic violence as a public health crisis.

And yet, it’s a public health crisis that is one-hundred percent preventable.

Domestic violence doesn’t happen arbitrarily or in a vacuum. No one simply wakes up in the morning, randomly decides to become violent with their partner, and finds themselves under arrest by evening. There are almost always warning signs or “red flags” that usually occur in advance of an altercation that ends with domestic violence charges. If you can see these red flags and take preventative action early, you can save yourself and your family a lot of pain, heartache, and stress. Let’s talk about some of these “red flags” and what you can do to reduce the risks.

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Argument-leading-to-domestic-violence-arrest-201x300It happens more often than you might think. You get into a heated discussion with your spouse, partner, or significant other. Tempers flare, voices are raised, tensions escalate. You’re now in a shouting match—perhaps loud enough to get the attention of the neighbors. Concerned, someone calls the police. Before you realize it, one of you is arrested and carried off on suspicion of domestic violence.

This type of scenario can be baffling, confusing, and frightening—for one or both of the people involved. Perhaps in your mind—and even in the mind of your partner—the two of you were just having a fight, a lover’s spat. Maybe no punches were even thrown. Was it, in fact, domestic violence? Is there enough evidence for the charges to stick? At what point does a basic family argument cross the line into domestic violence? Let’s unpack this question a little, looking at it first through the eyes of California law, and then from the standpoint of real life.

What the Law Says

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c-12559-1598658708762-040dd57758769a27d6695cd814003e81-300x200Domestic violence rarely takes place in a vacuum. Long before law enforcement gets involved and makes an arrest, there are usually underlying factors at work in the household that create conditions that are just primed for an argument or escalating tensions to get out of hand. These risk factors can include things like stress, emotional turmoil, mental illness, substance abuse, financial worries, and a slew of other possible issues.

During this ongoing pandemic, families are continuing to spend lots of time at home or in quarantine. That fact alone can put the family at higher risk for those underlying factors to eventually erupt into violence. The specific issues may be different in every household. Still, if you can identify these factors and find constructive ways to deal with them, you can often break the cycle of escalation and make your family safer at home.

To help with this process, we’ve compiled a list of programs and resources available to Los Angeles-area residents. Some of these resources are government-funded and operated, while others may be private organizations—and this is by no means an exhaustive list. But if you believe your family could be at heightened risk, this list will hopefully provide a starting point to get the help you need.

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Los-Angeles-domestic-violence-defense-June-2020-1-300x200During the weeks and months of quarantine across the country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the sometimes-startling upticks in domestic violence cases have been well-documented across the country. A few weeks ago, we posted a blog discussing the rise in DV cases and exploring the various contributing factors (including increased stress, unemployment, close proximity, etc.). Even as life and work resume for many of us (including here in California), the recent spikes in COVID-19 may eventually spark more lockdowns—and possibly additional hotbed situations where increased domestic violence may occur.

Now that we’re several months into this pandemic, let’s take another snapshot of this issue by looking at some of the more recent news stories regarding domestic violence and coronavirus.

Possible Increase in Unreported Domestic Violence Cases in L.A.

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domestic-violence-teletherapy-300x200Among the many things that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced to change is how domestic violence perpetrators and victims receive the help they both need. Psychotherapy and counseling are typically recommended for those who have been traumatized by violence at home. Here in California, those who are convicted of domestic violence are required to complete 52 weeks of counseling as part of their sentencing.

But stay-at-home orders have thrown a wrench into the works, so to speak. Not only has the quarantine prompted a surge in the number of domestic violence cases, but it has also created an obstacle when it comes to seeking the mental health counseling those affected by DV so desperately need.

Here’s the good news: Thanks to modern technology, many mental health professionals are now conducting sessions online through “teletherapy.” You can schedule a video chat with a therapist and attend your session online, and these sessions are now covered by most insurance plans. That being said, teletherapy has a different dynamic than in-person sessions, so it helps to be prepared for these differences. Let’s explore the topic of teletherapy when it comes to domestic violence cases, and what you need to know.

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domestic-abuse-los-angeles-300x200With the ongoing threat of COVID-19 dominating the news cycles these days, an important related news story has been inadvertently buried amid the headlines. Some have tried to accentuate the positive behind stay-at-home orders as an opportunity to spend more time with family and loved ones, but for many households dealing with various degrees of dysfunction, quarantine has made a bad situation much worse—marked by a notable spike in the number of domestic violence incidents.

As reported by NPR, the U.N. warned that they were aware of “a horrifying surge in domestic violence” in the weeks following lockdowns around the globe. South Africa reported 90,000 incidents of violence against women in the first week following their quarantine orders. Reports out of Turkey indicate murder rates against women have increased significantly since their stay-at-home orders were issued in early March. Many countries have reported double the volume of calls to their domestic abuse hotlines. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here in the U.S., the numbers seem to confirm this trend as overall reports of DV are on the rise here, as well. NBC News reports at least 18 law enforcement agencies out of 22 contacted have reported significant increases in domestic violence calls—ranging between 18-35 percent higher from city to city.

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