Articles Tagged with domestic violence

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In the state of California, if you are accused of child abuse (specifically, hitting your child abusively), your world could immediately be put into upheaval. California’s stance on child abuse is to provide immediate protection for the child first (by removal or restraining orders, if necessary), then investigating and pursuing the claims. Depending on the severity of the accusations or the intensity of the situation, within a matter of hours, you could find yourself arrested, separated from your child, and barred from returning to your own home. Your custody rights may be revoked (at least temporarily), and jail time might loom—all before you truly understand the charges you could be facing. Let’s talk about this sensitive issue, discuss what California law says about child abuse, how the state might respond to child abuse accusations, how the accusations might affect your custody rights, and what could happen if you are convicted.

What the Law in California Says About Child Abuse

Under Penal Code 273d PC, the State of California defines child abuse as an act in which someone “willfully inflicts upon a child any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic condition.” A “child” is defined as a minor under the age of 18. The law is worded in a way that often causes confusion over whether or not it’s illegal to spank a child in California—and indeed, some believe corporal punishment is a gray area of the law. However, under this definition, the act of hitting a child physically for disciplinary reasons (even with an object) is not considered child abuse unless it is excessive, cruel, or results in a “traumatic condition.” A basic spanking for disobedience would not be considered abusive, but breaking the skin or leaving a mark in the process could be construed as child abuse.

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Diet-and-DV-300x200Perhaps you’ve recently been arrested and charged with domestic violence. Maybe you’re even facing a protective order forbidding you to see your spouse or your kids. Maybe things just got out of control. Maybe it’s not the first time, and maybe you’re having trouble figuring out why. The key to avoiding a repeat of this situation is to identify any possible triggering factors and deal with them—including some things you might not have considered. 

Many people think that a person who commits domestic violence is an inherently violent person. This assumption is not just incorrect—it’s insidious because it suggests that violent tendencies are inborn or inbred and cannot be changed. The truth is not only can violent behaviors be learned and unlearned, but there may also be many contributing factors that make a person more predisposed to acting aggressively in their relationships–particularly towards people they actually care about. As it turns out, sometimes violent tendencies can be traced to the most seemingly inane aspects of our lives–even certain habits and behaviors we’ve adopted. Let’s explore some behaviors and habits that could have surprising links to an increased risk of domestic violence. 

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Postnuptial-Agreement-249x300A domestic violence arrest can impact your life in many ways. It can jeopardize your job, traumatize your family, and separate you from the ones you love. But beyond triaging the immediate crisis of dealing with the court process, the underlying question is how to prevent domestic violence from repeating. The answer requires getting to the heart of how the abusive patterns began in the first place.

Domestic violence is a problem that affects people of all ages, genders, and social backgrounds. It takes place in rural, suburban, and urban areas and at all income levels. Several studies have been done to try and understand why abuse occurs, as this knowledge can be applied to better treatment strategies. Let’s explore the science behind abuse to better understand how these violent tendencies start—and more importantly, how to curb them. We’ll look at this issue from a total of four aspects: environmental, psychological, neurochemical, and genetic factors.

Environmental Factors Behind Abuse

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One keynontradtional-families-violence-300x200 characteristic of domestic violence is that it doesn’t play favorites. In other words, there is no particular family type, age bracket, income bracket, or geographic location that cannot be touched by it. Domestic violence is an epidemic, and it can impact families of any race or ethnicity, rich, poor, or middle-class, living in rural communities or large cities, etc.

As the definition of what constitutes a family unit has expanded over the past few decades, many nontraditional families are discovering that they, too, are not exempt from the ravages of domestic violence. Let’s take a closer look at various types of nontraditional families to see the ways in which they may be susceptible to domestic violence.

Nontraditional Families Defined

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Los-Angeles-DUI-Defense-Lawyer-43-200x300When we think about domestic violence, by default most of us picture a man as the perpetrator and a woman as the victim. Indeed, this image has been largely programmed into our minds by cultural stereotypes of women as the “weaker sex.” While the majority of reported instances of DV are committed against women, the actual numbers suggest the imbalance isn’t as broad as we think. (According to the NCADV, 1 in 3 women are victims of some form of physical violence by a partner, compared to 1 in 4 men.)

However, another variable—once virtually ignored—may be playing into these statistics in a greater way than anyone had previously realized. Recent research shows that domestic violence within same-sex relationships may actually be more prevalent than in heterosexual relationships. Perhaps even more surprising: Female same-sex relationships may suffer higher rates of violence than their male counterparts.en, the actual numbers suggest the imbalance isn’t as broad as we think. (According to the NCADV, 1 in 3 women are victims of some form of physical violence by a partner, compared to 1 in 4 men.)

However, another variable—once virtually ignored—may be playing into these statistics in a greater way than anyone had previously realized. Recent research shows that domestic violence within same-sex relationships may actually be more prevalent than in heterosexual relationships. Perhaps even more surprising: Female same-sex relationships may suffer higher rates of violence than their male counterparts.

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If you’ve been recently charged with domestic violence, your life could become quite complicated very quickly, especially if convicted. However, this time can also be a teaching moment—an opportunity to step back from this dark chapter and learn a more productive way of thinking and communicating.NVC-domestic-violence-300x214

The reasons why we humans sometimes turn to violence and aggression are too numerous and complex to explain here—nor are we qualified to delve into the psychology behind it. However, as the University of Michigan points out, domestic violence typically occurs as a repeating cycle, one that begins with a breakdown of communication. It naturally follows that if couples can create meaningful channels of communication, the cycle of domestic violence may be interrupted. The problem in many cases is that one or the other partner doesn’t understand the best ways to communicate—and the resulting frustration may erupt into aggression.

In the 1960s, an American psychologist named Marshall Rosenberg—himself a domestic violence victim from childhood—developed a process called Nonviolent Communication. The underlying theory behind this approach is that humans are innately compassionate, and violence is a learned behavior that develops from the inability to communicate needs effectively. Rosenberg utilized these principles quite effectively as a mediator to diffuse tensions between rioting college students and college administrators in the turbulent ’60s, as well as in peacemaking efforts during the desegregation process of the civil rights era. Since those days, many have utilized these principles to learn to communicate more compassionately and effectively.

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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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Domestic violence is a serious matter here in California. The laws are strict, tolerance is low to nonexistent, and the overwhelming response is such that being accused of it can dramatically alter your life, even if you’re not guilty. If you got into a mild altercation with your spouse that somehow got construed to be domestic violence, your private disagreement could be instantly ranked alongside major felonies like assault or murder.DV-defense-los-angeles-options

Suffice it to say that when you’re accused of this crime, choosing the right defense strategy may be critical to your future, which is why you need a seasoned criminal defense attorney to help you map out a plan of action while representing your interests in court. Let’s take a look at some of the most common and effective defenses against charges of domestic violence, and under what circumstances it’s appropriate to use them.

False Accusation

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Domestic violence affects people of every age, race and income level. But cases of domestic violence (DV) usually make the news only when prominent individuals such as actors, sports stars and reality TV celebrities become involved. These cases often open up important discussions… that are subsequently treated with only cartoonish analysis along the lines of “he’s bad; she’s good” or “she’s wrong; he’s right.” This is tragic, not only because domestic violence isn’t a simple crime but also because trivializing these cases prevents us collectively from reflecting and learning important lessons about ourselves, our habits and strategies that could prevent future violence. To that end, we’re going to summarize some major recent DV cases in the news and dive deeper—using them as a jumping off point to provide meaningful insight for defendants (and others).johnny-depp-DV

Ezekiel Elliot (Accusations Against an NFL Star)

When a former girlfriend accused the Dallas Cowboy’s running back Ezekiel Elliot of domestic violence, the NFL investigated the charges and ordered his suspension for six games. But Elliot refused to take the suspension without a fight; he contended that the league had not given him a fair hearing.

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As someone recently accused of domestic violence charges, you’re no doubt acutely aware of the challenges faced by victims. Whether you stand falsely accused of hitting a spouse or partner, or whether you took an action against someone you love that you profoundly regret, it’s important to empathize. After all, finding a resolution to your family crisis—and your criminal case—requires understanding the situation first.falsely-accused-DV-300x221

Unfortunately, those accused of domestic violence—as well as those victimized by violent acts—often look only to the courts to sort things out. Sometimes, sadly, punitive intervention is necessary. But wouldn’t it be better if everyone involved could have their needs met and society provided more (and better) resources to families in trouble?

After all, the end goals we’re all seeking are the same:

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