Articles Tagged with domestic violence

Domestic-Violence-Charges-210x300It’s a scenario that can be both surprising and shocking. You have a verbal disagreement with your spouse or domestic partner (as most couples do). Emotions get heated, and you say some things you shouldn’t have said—and maybe didn’t mean. Someone observes the argument and calls the cops—or maybe your partner makes the call herself. A short time later, you get a visit from the police and find yourself arrested on charges of domestic violence or accused of making criminal threats—even though you never physically touched your spouse!

How could this happen? Could you actually be convicted of domestic violence under these circumstances? Theoretically, you could—especially if your heated exchange included verbal threats. Let’s talk about how California law views emotional abuse as part of domestic violence and when heated words might cross the line into a criminal act.

Emotional Abuse and Domestic Violence

Panic-Attack-DV-300x200If an altercation between you and your partner has ended up with you being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, chances are your emotions are already at a fever pitch. Being charged with domestic violence can take the fear to a whole new level. Within hours, you’re suddenly faced with the possibility of losing your freedom, your family, access to your kids, etc. Your whole world could be hanging in the balance. Add to that the humiliation caused by being cuffed and put into a patrol car in plain sight of your neighbors, and it’s enough to make anyone anxious. 

All this to say, if you begin experiencing signs of panic attacks or severe anxiety in the wake of your domestic violence arrest, you’re not alone. These reactions are quite common, in fact. And yet, resolving a domestic violence charge may still take time, during which you may still have to deal with some of those triggers. So what can you do in the meantime to deal with any symptoms and bring your emotions into check? Let’s discuss some practical solutions. 

What is a Panic Attack, and What Are the Symptoms? 

pexels-energepiccom-313690-300x225Our justice system is built on the principle that a person is “innocent until proven guilty.” Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in the public debate, especially when it comes to social media. While social media’s purpose is to help us stay connected (at least in theory), the downside is that anyone can say anything on social media without fear of retribution. All it takes is one person publicly accusing another, and everyone who trusts the accuser is likely to take up the offense and make their own negative posts. If the person is facing criminal charges, the problem can be even worse. The accused person may find themselves crucified on social media even before the court process begins. It’s unfair, but it’s just how social media works. 

No one understands this new reality better than someone whose partner or spouse has taken to social media to publicly accuse them of domestic violence—especially when there has been an arrest, and criminal charges have been filed. Once the accusation is “out there,” regardless of your guilt or innocence, it can quickly and permanently skewer your reputation. It can affect your other friendships, family relationships, even your job. Even if you’re eventually exonerated, and the charges are dropped, the stigma of the accusation can linger for years to come. What can you do to fix this situation? What steps can you take to repair your reputation? Social media can definitely be a “wild card” when you’re facing domestic violence charges, so let’s discuss some tips for handling social media with grace and dignity during this difficult time. 

Don’t Respond to Accusations Online 

DrugWhen domestic violence happens in the home, it’s seldom caused by just one thing. While we are all accountable for our choices and our actions, there may be many contributing factors that increase the likelihood of DV occurring. Let’s continue our exploration into habits and behaviors (some unexpected) that may help create a scenario where domestic violence is more likely to occur.  

Alcohol Consumption   

Although the use of alcohol is never a sole trigger of abuse, the connection between alcohol abuse and domestic violence is widely documented. In fact, a report by the World Health Organization states that approximately 55 percent of domestic violence perpetrators do so after consuming alcohol. While many people drink alcohol for its calming or relaxing effects, large amounts of alcohol can lead to irritability and aggression. The actual science behind why this happens isn’t always so clear, but there seem to be several ways in which alcohol consumption can make domestic violence more likely: 

science-behind-abuse-2-300x200The more we understand how domestic violence makes its way into people’s lives, the more we can do to stop it from happening. Science, though evolving, has a lot to say about the underlying causes of abuse. Whether this is your first offense, or if you’ve been arrested for domestic violence before—if you have found yourself in legal trouble over domestic violence, understanding the possible triggers for it can help you take steps to break the cycle in your own life and prevent repeat offenses. Let’s continue our discussion of the various factors science says may play a role in the development of abusive behaviors.

Neurochemical Factors Behind Abuse

Neurochemistry is the science behind the chemical processes in our central nervous system–the chemical responses that affect how our brains and nerves respond to stimuli. The idea that domestic violence is linked to neurochemistry is a relatively new field of study, but it has already compiled a strong case. Neurochemistry is being looked at as one of the key pieces to understand why people abuse, and it represents an exciting new direction for intervention possibilities down the road. The link between neurotransmitters and abusive behavior may actually predict an abuser’s likelihood of reoffending—and this information might one day prove valuable in predicting which abusers are more likely to escalate violence and should therefore be monitored closely.

Elder-abuse-domestic-violence-225x300As our society has expanded its understanding of what makes up a family, we see statistically that no family unit is immune to the threat of domestic violence. Whether you’re part of what is historically considered a “traditional” family (i.e., heterosexual married couple/biological parents) or one of many types of “nontraditional” families, it’s still possible for disagreements to get out of hand, emotional triggers to surface…and before you know it, someone is facing domestic violence charges with a restraining order blocking them from the people they love. 

We’ve already begun exploring how domestic violence may affect certain nontraditional families, but let’s continue looking at this topic below.  

Cohabitating Families 

remote-learning-domestic-violence-300x200News reports across the board continue to confirm: Domestic violence is on the rise around the world, largely owing to the ongoing pandemic. Between lockdowns and quarantines, more time spent at home, rising unemployment and numerous other triggering factors, many households have become a tinder box for escalating tensions, which sometimes lead to violence.

One of the many possible aggravating factors for increased tensions at home is the fact that the children have now been stuck at home for months—andfor many, this trend shows no signs of ending anytime soon. Despite ongoing pressure from Washington for local schools to open this fall, many communities are choosing either to start the semesters with remote classes or to implement a hybrid model combining in-person and remote learning. In either case, the children will continue to spend more time at home.

This fact is raising concerns among advocacy groups as there is evidence that some children are particularly at risk for increased abuse at home during this time. For some proponents of reopening schools, their main argument for doing so is their concerns for the children at risk from staying at home. Since many of us will be dealing with some form of remote learning in the coming months, let’s explore in more detail how home education may be increasing the risks for domestic violence. More to the point, if you are experiencing increased stress from remote learning that may put your household at risk, let’s talk about some ways you can diffuse the tension and protect your household.

DV-attorney-defense-Los-Angeles-2-300x200For many years, psychologists, healthcare professionals, and researchers alike have been exploring the underlying causes and factors of domestic violence. To that end, the connection between domestic violence and substance abuse has been well-documented. Repeated studies typically report that between 40 and 60 percent of domestic violence cases involve some sort of substance abuse (i.e., alcohol and illicit drugs). The Addiction Center makes an even steeper claim, saying that nearly 80 percent of domestic violence crimes involve drug use—and one study puts the number as high as 92 percent.

But what about prescription drugs? What about medicines that doctors and the general public typically think of as “safe” when taken correctly? Can there be a link between these medications and domestic violence, as well?

As it turns out, a growing body of evidence strongly suggests that even prescription meds and other legal drugs (not including alcohol) can increase the risk of violence in the home. Let’s discuss some of the drugs most commonly associated with DV and explore the connection in a bit more detail.

Quarantine-300x200If you ask many people whether there’s a silver lining behind the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, they might tell you that quarantining at home has given them a chance to stop and re-evaluate their priorities, to spend more quality time with family and loved ones, to focus on self-care and self-improvement, or any of a handful of other platitudes. And certainly, for many of us, the stay-at-home orders have given us a chance to recalibrate our lives in some way.

But being quarantined with family isn’t a “silver lining” for everyone. For some households, being cooped up in close quarters can turn toxic—especially if there are unresolved issues involved. For many, things have even turned violent, as demonstrated by a significant spike in the number of domestic violence incidents reported during this time.

What do you do if you were in the second group—the one where quarantining triggered toxic behavior? Perhaps a discussion devolved into an argument and things got out of hand. Maybe you have found yourself arrested and separated from family on an accusation of domestic violence. Where is the “silver lining” in that kind of situation?

Los-Angeles-Domestic-Violence-Defense-6-300x200If we were to classify domestic violence as an illness, by all standards it would be an epidemic. Statistics show that 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 9 men, becomes a victim of DV at some point in life—affecting as many as 10 million Americans each year.

What isn’t always clear is: Why?

Any act of domestic violence, no matter how “minor” it seems in the moment, can wreak great havoc in your life. Just one occurrence can fracture your relationships and potentially take your freedom. Understanding why it occurs can be a key to preventing it. If you can identify the driving factors or triggers behind your behavior, you have a better chance of addressing it so domestic violence doesn’t occur—or doesn’t occur again. So let’s explore some of the most common factors experts have identified as driving forces behind DV.

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