Domestic Violence Awareness

Domestic Violence cases are difficult to deal with from the start to the conclusion because nobody wins in the end.
They are some of the most dangerous calls for patrol officers and deputies due to the nature of these types of cases because it usually involves families or intimate relationships.
October is Domestic Violence  Awareness Month. The most common misdemeanor trials that go on in my courtroom are a close tie between Domestic Violence and Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs. So I’ve seen a lot of these cases come through. There is absolutely no excuse for Domestic Violence. I know it sounds cliche since that’s been said over and over again and is on LAPD cruiser’s bumpers but it’s true: Domestic Violence is wrong and should never be tolerated.
The cases are usually hard for prosecutors because the witnesses and or victims to DV cases usually do not want to testify for a number of reasons: they are embarrassed at the circumstances, they are afraid of the defendant, they don’t want the defendant to get into more trouble, and so on. It’s not uncommon to hear stories changing on the witness stand, making it difficult for a jury to figure out what exactly happened in each case.
Families are utterly destroyed by these cases, and the people who suffer the most are children, especially if they witnessed the event and have to testify.
Victims sometimes blame themselves for what happened. The only fault in the majority of DV cases is that of the defendant, who lost control of themselves during the time of the incident. Each and every case is obviously different, but the common factor in all of them is that law enforcement got involved. Either a victim or witness calls 911 or neighbors and bystanders do.
It’s natural for families or couples to get into arguments, however when it gets out of control and the police have to get involved, it’s a law enforcement problem.
Sadly in some cases, it is a recurring DV case where the victims will stay with the defendant, who continues to not change their behavior. They call it batterers syndrome and I see it often. These victims are stuck in a very tough spot and have gotten used to a life of abuse and feel like that it is normal. It really takes a friend or family member to notice the clues and intervene to pull them out of that abusive relationship. It’s very difficult to convince someone who believes that what is happening is okay because they’ve been living that life for so long that they no longer know or believe that life could be any better.
Those that survive and escape these abusive relationships and move on are probably the strongest people out there.
If you’re in a position to help out a friend or family member, do it because sometimes it’s nearly impossible for them to do it alone.
This post is dedicated to each and every survivor (I do not like to use the word victim in this case) that have made the courageous steps to get out and move on with their lives.

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