Domestic Violence is Unacceptable in the United States

There are many male dominated societies and cultures in the World, but in the United States we have chosen equal rights for both men and women. Thus, we have laws against domestic violence, which is a much fairer way to live. Still, other cultures think we are nuts for allowing women the same rights as men, they still believe that since men on average are stronger than women, it is only natural that they should dominate them and rule over the family unit. Indeed, this attitude is unfortunate and it is far too common in the world today.

We do see that domestic violence is more prevalent in the United States with those nationalities that come from predominantly male dominated societies. You can ask a police officer about the domestic calls they go on, and they will explain to you, the ethnic make-up of those generally involved and the high percentages. Today, in America we are told not to stereotype or to classify race, religion, nationality, but when it comes to domestic violence in the US, it is obvious from an observational standpoint.

Indeed, in this short article, I am not obligated to explain to you these facts or point our which nationalities have the most domestic violence cases. Suffice it to say that although domestic violence happens with all nationalities and races in the US, it is far greater with a certain few. It is probably not wise to sit around and judge various groups, but the data shows the reality. It is far better to do something about it, making it clear that it is unacceptable here in the US and work locally with community groups to put an end to it all. Think on this.

New York Domestic Violence Law: How to Get an Order of Protection in Family Court

Generally speaking, domestic violence refers to behavior that one person in an intimate relationship uses to control the other. Examples of such behavior include threats, name-calling, isolation, placing someone in fear of physical harm, stalking and sexual assault. The foregoing list of abusive behaviors is far from exhaustive. Each state has unique procedural and substantive rules to protect family members from domestic abuse.

New York’s substantive domestic violence law is set forth in various sections of the state’s Penal Law, Family Court Act, and Domestic Relations Law. These statutes provide several different procedural options for someone who needs to obtain judicial protection against an abusive family member. The broad and remedial purpose of the foregoing laws is to provide the maximum level of protection for victims of domestic violence. To further this goal, New York is a “mandatory arrest” jurisdiction. This means that the police are required to arrest suspects where there is “probable cause” to believe that the accused has committed, against a spouse, former spouse, family or household member, any felony, misdemeanor family offense, or violation of an order of protection requiring the defendant to stay away from the complainant.

Under New York’s Criminal Procedure Law, members of the same family or household (so as to fall under the protections of the family offense laws) include:

  1. persons related by consanguinity or affinity;
  2. persons legally married to one another;
  3. persons formerly married to one another regardless of whether they still reside in the same household;
  4. persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether such persons have been married or have lived together at any time; and
  5. persons who are not related by consanguinity or affinity and who are or have been in an intimate relationship regardless of whether such persons have lived together at any time.

In New York, domestic violence cases are most frequently brought in the Family Court under Article 8 of New York’s Family Court Act. Unlike criminal proceedings, Family Court Article 8 proceedings are generally intended to secure practical protections for victims (such as orders of protection directing offenders to stay away from victims), as opposed to criminal convictions. Court-ordered relief frequently includes orders requiring the offender to vacate a marital residence and cease contact with the petitioner. The Family Court may also order someone to participate in an educational program specifically tailored for perpetrators of domestic abuse.

To obtain an order of protection in New York Family Court, a petitioner must establish that a family offense has occurred. Family offenses include acts constituting disorderly conduct, harassment in the first degree, harassment in the second degree, aggravated harassment in the second degree, menacing in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, reckless endangerment, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, or an attempted assault between spouses and/or members of the same family or household. In the context of family offense proceedings, the definition of “disorderly conduct” is broader than in the criminal context, and may include conduct not in a public space. Under Penal Law 240.20, disorderly conduct includes conduct intended to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof. Examples of such conduct include tumultuous or threatening behavior, abusive or obscene language, unreasonable noise, or making an obscene gesture.

Generally, both the New York Supreme Court and the Family Court have jurisdiction to issue an Order of Protection. However, only the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to issue a divorce. Thus, individuals who do not have a marital relationship must seek judicial relief in either the Family Court or Criminal Court.

Occasionally, a spouse may bring an action seeking an Order of Protection in the Family Court, and then subsequently initiate divorce proceedings in the Supreme Court. In such instances, it may be appropriate to consolidate the existing actions. Section 240(3) of New York’s Domestic Relations Law (DRL) authorizes the Supreme Court to enter an order of protection in a matrimonial action.

Given the overlapping remedies and jurisdiction of New York’s Family and Supreme Courts, and the broad array of procedural options, selection of venue and other strategic decisions should be carefully considered and evaluated at the outset of order of protection proceedings with the advice and assistance of an experienced New York family law attorney. In addition to considerations regarding venue, a family law attorney will be able to guide the complainant about important issues regarding preservation of evidence. Frequently, proof of domestic violence hinges on preservation of key communications, such as text messages, voice mails, and emails. Ultimately, these communications will need to be introduced as evidence at trial. Giving careful consideration to strategic and evidentiary considerations at the earliest possible stage is crucial to obtaining a permanent order of protection against an abusive spouse or household member.

Restrictions of Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Domestic violence is an issue that plagues families throughout the country. It is not exclusive to people who are married or in relationships. If can affect all members of a family, including children. In Florida, domestic violence is considered any assault or battery that results in injury to a family member or another person living in the household.

The Sunshine State has several laws in place designed to shield and protect people from domestic violence. Although it cannot be stopped entirely, the goal is to decrease the number of families and people who are victim to the abuse. One possible way is through a domestic violence protective order.

Protective orders are designed to limit the interaction one person has with another, whether that is physical contact or any sort of interaction. The orders are supposed to keep people safe from another, but domestic violence protective orders can be complicated.

A person can file for a protective order if he or she has been the victim of domestic violence or if there is the fear he or she might become a victim. For instance, if a spouse says he or she will harm the other person or that person’s family, a protective order could be issued.

To obtain a protective order, a person first must petition to the court requesting the order be instated. The court will use several factors to determine whether the petitioner has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in danger, including the history between the two parties.

A court is likely to grant a protective order if there has been physical abuse, threats of abuse, threats of kidnapping or harming children, abuse or killing of a family pet or use of a weapon. Whether the respondent – the person the order is filed against -has stopped the other spouse from calling law enforcement also could be used as proof.

The domestic violence laws only apply if the respondent is the petitioner’s spouse, former spouse, related by blood or marriage, living with the petitioner now or has in the past lived as a family. The law also would apply if the person shares a child or children with the petitioner, whether or not they have been married or lived together.

In Florida, violating a protective order is a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fee. A person can violate it in several different ways, including:

• Refusing to vacate the home, apartment or dwelling shared by both parties
• Being within 500 feet of the petitioner’s home, school, job, or any location specified as a place frequented by the petitioner, or a family member
• Committing an act of domestic violence against the petitioner
• Threatening by words or actions to harm the petitioner
• Intentionally communicating with the petitioner

Getting Knowledge on State Domestic Violence Laws

Laws for domestic violence can be very restrictive or lenient in the state you reside, so a consultation with a family law attorney may be a wise choice. A majority of states have strict laws prohibiting such acts and have laws in place to protect women of domestic violence. The former couples involved in a domestic violence situation may be married, recently divorced, straight, gay, lesbian, living together, going out or not together anymore. Additional involvements may also exist and need to be talked over with a family law lawyer or law enforcement official.

Domestic violence may include verbal abuse, significant other from contacting family, friends, not sharing money, preventing a spouse from getting a job, making a spouse get fired from their job, physical abuse, threatening remarks, sexual assault, following, intimidation, etc. Any questions about what is considered domestic violence should be directed to an attorney or law enforcement official.

There are several hotlines and safe havens that exist for victims of domestic violence, so knowing this is available is very important. The National Domestic Violence National Phone line is among the resources victims should be privy to. The number is located in your local yellow pages. Browsing online is a great way to learn more about domestic abuse resources. Contact an experienced family law lawyer or law enforcement official for extensive information and resources.

An emergency protective order (EPO) may be obtained that according to local law strictly limits the accused from contacting or within a certain amount of feet near the victim. It may also grant custody of the kids (if applicable) to the victim or someone with whom they will be in a protective environment. When in immediate danger, victims should contact 911 instantly and tell the police officers what occurred once they arrive. The policeman may call an on-call court officer to give the EPO on the spot.

To be granted an EPO, the person in danger or his or her kids have to be in immediate and current life threatening situation of extreme violence. The order is valid for five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is less. Further information about an EPO can be obtained by talking to a family law laeyer or law enforcement officer.

To be approved for a temporary restraining order (TRO), the victim must file an application with the nearest family law court. If given, the TRO will be effective once the aggressor is served with papers. To find out more about TROs, victims should, once again, speak with an family law lawyer or a police officer or official deputy.

People affected by domestic violence can be of any gender, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, age, etc. Knowing one’s resources and phoning the authorities if in immediate danger is important.

Understanding Nevada’s Domestic Violence Statutes

Domestic violence is a serious offense in Nevada and carries stiff penalties. The state code of Nevada, known as the Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”), defines domestic violence and provides the penalties associated with convictions for domestic violence.

Most people, when they think of domestic violence, think only of a battery committed by one spouse or partner against another. However, in Nevada it is defined much more broadly. NRS 33.018 explains that the crime occurs when one of a specific group of acts is committed by one person against another and the two parties have a certain relationship listed in the statute.

Domestic violence can be charged when the prohibited act is committed by the alleged offender against any of the following persons:
o A spouse
o A former spouse
o Any other person to whom the suspected offender is related by blood or marriage
o A person with whom the alleged offender is or was actually residing
o A person with whom the alleged offender has had a dating relationship
o A person with whom the suspected offender is having a dating relationship
o A person with whom the alleged offender has a child in common
o The minor child of any of the above persons
o The alleged offender’s minor child
o Any person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the alleged offender’s minor child

According to the NRS, a “dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement. The term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary association between persons in a business or social context.

As can be observed by reviewing the statutory language, domestic violence is a much broader offense than most people understand. It is not simply an act of violence against one’s spouse or dating partner. Domestic violence can exist between a former spouse or dating partner, or even a person who simply lives in the same residence as the potential offender.

Understanding the law is the first step in knowing how to protect your rights. It is important to stay composed if you find yourself in a situation that may be perceived as crime by an outside viewer. The actions you take may be misinterpreted by an observer or describe incorrectly by a participant in the argument. Try to avoid these situations all together if you can. However, if you find yourself in the midst of an argument, be respectful and never threaten or take any action against the other person.