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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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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-9-300x200Domestic violence is, unfortunately, one of the most common crimes of our time. DV claims more than 30,000 lives worldwide each year, most of them women. Here in the U.S., DV arrests range in the hundreds of thousands each year, and that doesn’t account for the many other incidents that never get reported. (Some estimate there are as many as 10 million victims per year.) And while many of these stories make the headlines, the sheer numbers of them often get buried among other stories.

That said, every so often a particular story stands out to us for one reason or another. Now that the 2010s have come to a close, let’s take a look at a few of the more noteworthy domestic violence cases from the past decade to see what we can learn from them–in particular, how they can help those accused of DV understand their story in context and use this point in their lives as a positive turning point.

Russian Woman Loses Her Hands to Domestic Violence

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Los-Angeles-Domestic-Violence-Defense-11-300x200Depending on where we get our information, research has shown that anywhere between 35 percent and 70 percent of women worldwide have been victimized by domestic or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Most laws passed against domestic violence are intended to prevent and punish these acts, but here in the U.S., where we have some of the strongest laws against DV, 20 people still become victims of domestic violence every minute.

Even so, if we look at the research done by human rights activists, we find that America is truly at or near the head of the pack as far as legal protections for women. While many still become victims, they at least have some legal recourse. Let’s examine this issue beyond our shores and look at how domestic violence is handled in other countries around the world.

Countries with No Domestic Violence Laws

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Los-Angeles-Domestic-Violence-Defense-13-300x200Despite the abundant education and preventative resources available today, domestic violence continues to be a significant issue worldwide. At least 60 percent of all violence-related arrests involve domestic violence against a significant other. Here in the U.S., approximately 20 people become victims of DV every single minute, accounting for 25 percent of women and 1 in 9 men—far too many for the press to cover them all. That said, a few high-profile cases do manage to make the news, and these cases often hold important object lessons for others accused of DV. Let’s take a look a few of the top domestic violence cases of 2019 to see what we can take away from them.

Domestic Violence Killings Reach 5-Year High in the UK

This news article by BBC News actually cites multiple DV cases and is worth a read on its own, but we start with this piece because it points to a disturbing overall trend. According to the report, 173 people in the UK died from injuries due to domestic violence in 2018, representing an increase of 32 victims from the previous year. Three-quarters of the victims were female, and the most common weapon used in the killings was a knife. In a related statistic, The Guardian says cases of domestic violence in general (both fatal and non-fatal) have risen by 63 percent in London alone over the past seven years.

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Los-Angeles-DUI-Defense-Attorney-27-300x200Imagine that you’ve spent some time at a bar or at a party with friends. You’ve had a couple of drinks, but you don’t feel particularly tipsy—so when you leave, you get into your car thinking you’re safe to drive home. Your car, however, doesn’t seem to cooperate. Either it refuses to start, or when it starts, you can’t put it into gear. The car sends you a message, either audibly or by text, that your blood alcohol content is too high, and offers to call a taxi for you.

If you think this scenario sounds like a sci-fi movie set decades into the future, think again. The technology already exists to generate this level of DUI prevention, and within a few years we may even see cars equipped with this tech entering the mainstream. In fact, over the next ten years we may see emerging technology radically reshape the ways in which DUI is prevented and/or enforced. Let’s explore a few examples.

Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS)

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Los-Angeles-DUI-Defense-Attorney-26-300x200These days, the term DUI almost always has a starkly negative connotation attached to it. In an earlier time, however, pop culture essentially winked the eye at driving under the influence. Comedians of the day would feign intoxication for a laugh or offer a sideways remark toward Dean Martin—who despite playing the “lovable drunk” for laughs, was usually holding a glass of apple juice and rarely got tipsy. It seems this “light touch” toward intoxication made its way into public attitudes toward DUI, which we generally passed off as a “fact of life.”

However, beginning in the 1980s, some elements of pop culture began going on the offensive against these permissive attitudes toward DUI, shining a light the gruesome statistics of injury and death that DUI frequently caused. As a result, public opinion has shifted dramatically, and our books, movies, songs and TV shows have begun reflecting a different view.

Even so, despite all the PSAs, ad campaigns and highway warning signs, DUI remains an ongoing issue in our world. Over this post and the next, we’ll examine DUI as reflected in popular culture then and now, looking at what our entertainment media has gotten right, where it’s missed the mark and where we might go from here.

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California law is decidedly severe when it comes to crimes of domestic violence—to the point that even being charged with a DV offense should evoke a sense of fear. Whether you are guilty or wrongfully accused, if a bad situation at home results in being charged with a crime, you should be as informed as possible about each charge, and its possible penalties, so you know what to expect and how to be prepared.

To that end, we’ve compiled the following catalogue of some of the more common domestic violence crimes, as defined by the California Penal Code.

Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant

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You’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime. You’re worried about your future, your relationships and your freedom. Will you have to go to jail? Will your significant other take you back? How can you avoid overly-harsh punishment or refute what you believe are baseless accusations against you?global-domestic-violence-stats-300x300

While analyzing all these worries, it’s easy to feel isolated. The cultural taboo against domestic violence–especially alleged attacks on children–is profound in the United States. And understandably so. Even if you committed a “bad” act in a moment of passion or weakness, you (hopefully!) don’t wish for a more violent world. But obtaining compassion from friends and family–or even basic understanding–in the wake of DV charges can be hard.

You might find it useful to look outside of your situation and take a 20,000 foot view. How do other countries and cultures grapple with the challenges of domestic violence? What do they do (or fail to do) to protect and be sensitive to victims? What safeguards do they have in place (or not) to ensure fair treatment of the accused?

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When you have the right app, your cell phone can be a handy tool in helping you avoid a DUI charge.9-4-17-DUI-los-angeles-apps-300x169

• Planning a night out with friends? There are apps that will help you estimate your blood alcohol content and provide a rough estimate of your BAC based on how many drinks you’ve had.

• Are you sure that you’ve consumed too much to get behind the wheel? Download a few apps that can help you snag a ride home so you don’t have to drive.

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