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DV-laws-around-the-worldDepending 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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howie-day-DV-chargeDespite 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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DUI-prevention-tech-of-the-future-300x180Imagine 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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dean-marti-300x214These 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 offDV-los-angelesense 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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Breaking the cycle of domestic violence has been difficult. Studies have shown that even the most widely-used program for domestic abuse intervention, the Duluth Model, has not been successful in reducing the rate of recidivism for violent offenders.Mindfulness-to-combat-domestic-violence-300x129

But there is one approach that might be more successful. Although they are not designed specifically to reduce incidences of domestic violence, programs that teach people mindfulness and meditation have shown some promise in reducing incidences of violence in several settings.

Stop and think

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Social media has become an integral part of our lives and our culture. While it has its benefits—it’s fun to stay connected to family and friends—there’s also a downside. Facts get distorted, ugly rumors spread quickly and some unfortunate person’s life can get turned inside out in a matter of hours.losangeles-domestic-violence-charges

So what happens when you get charged with domestic violence? How do you respond if your accuser takes the story public? Your answer may depend on the truth of the charges against you and what impact the social media statements will have on your personal and professional life.

NOTE: Before you respond in any way, speak with a qualified Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor mistakes with respect to how you handle the situation online can have profound implications for your ability to fight the charges.

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Judges will often grant postponements of cases involving DUI in Los Angeles if the prosecutor or the defending lawyer can provide a good reason for the delay. But a judge in Shasta County, California, finally reached her limit on granting reprieves and ordered a defendant to be ready for her day in court. anderson_dui

According to the Record Searchlight, Judge Cara Beatty was determined that Virginia Lyn Anderson of Redding, California, would have her day in court during the last week in October. Police say that Anderson was driving under the influence of methamphetamine and other drugs back in April 2014 when she collided with a motorcycle ridden by Hayley Marie Riggins. The crash killed Riggins, 27.

Anderson was initially supposed to stand trial in November 2014, but the judge has postponed her trial seven times since then. Most recently, the defense sought to get the trial postponed another time while they were appealing the specific charges filed against Anderson.

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