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CA custody lawyerDomestic violence is the most common felony offense in the U.S., and it goes largely unreported. Another unreported aspect of domestic violence is when the abuser harms their own child, which is more common than the average person might think. In fact, 30 to 60 percent of children living in abusive homes are, in addition to the other victim, physically or sexually abused themselves, according to Stop Violence Against Women. This startling fact is one of the main reasons that judges side with the victims of domestic violence when the couple splits up and child custody becomes an issue.

Child’s Best Interests

The court will always side in favor of the child’s best interests, and obviously being sexually or physically abused is not in their best interest. Moreover, even if children are not abused themselves while living in a home where domestic violence occurs, they are still more likely to suffer from emotional, behavioral, developmental, social, and learning problems. Early childhood trauma, such as seeing their mother get slapped, pushed, or threatened, can follow a child into adulthood, causing depression, anxiety, alcoholism, and lower economic status.

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Posted on in Family Law

California family lawyerAs caretakers of their senior citizen parents, adult children have many responsibilities that range from making meals and ensuring that prescriptions are taken, to arranging doctors appointments and helping their parent up and out of chairs. As elder parents grow older, they can become even frailer, their balance may fade, and generally even their cognitive abilities diminish. With poor balance, skin that breaks easily, and a poor understanding of what is going on if they suffer from dementia, accidents can mistakenly lead to domestic violence charges of elder abuse. If you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, you need to speak to a San Jose family attorney as soon as possible.

Wrongly Accusing a Family Member

Elder abuse is certainly a problem in California and throughout the U.S., and family members of the victim are often the perpetrators. Doctors and paramedics are sometimes quick to jump to conclusions because they do see real domestic violence on a regular basis, and may inform law enforcement of the incident. You may have just been taking your elderly parent to the hospital for stitches after they stumbled and fell, but you could end up in jail if things go wrong. Even worse, the elderly person may not fully understand, or remember, what actually happened. Law enforcement may even coax out information from the elderly person by leading them on; their testimony may have been completely fabricated.

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California domestic violence laws, California family lawyerThe most common civil harassment, like domestic violence, consists of stalking, threats, sexual assault, assault, battery, and other forms of serious harassment. Harassment is defined as unlawful actual violence or a credible threat of real violence, with those threats seriously intimidating, harassing, or annoying someone, and there being no good reason for the harassment.The main difference between civil harassment and domestic violence is that in the case of civil harassment, you and the perpetrator must have never been in a domestic partnership, never dated, and never had an intimate relationship. However, according to California law, civil harassment can be inflicted by a relative such as an aunt, uncle, or cousin, but not from a closer blood relationship, such as a brother or sister. Filing a restraining order under California section 527.6 for civil harassment can offer you protection from a distant family member, a neighbor, friend, co-worker, bully, or another person that has made themselves a serious threat to your life. Minors under the age of 12 are also allowed to appear in court to request restraining orders as well.

What Is a Credible Threat of Violence?

In order for civil harassment to have occurred, the harasser must have acted with violence towards you, such as battery or sexual assault, for example, or they must have created a credible threat of violence. A credible threat of violence is doing or saying something in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to be afraid for their safety, or be afraid for the safety of their family. This includes saying threatening things over the phone or in person, sending harassing text messages or emails, harassment through social media, stalking, and following.

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California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyWhile extreme mandatory minimum sentences for possession of marijuana and other narcotics have become the norm over the past few decades, sexual assault criminals have not been dealt with even close to as strictly. That may all be changing in California, as policy makers are coming to a final decision on a new Assembly Bill (number 2888) that would give mandatory minimum sentences to those who have been convicted of sexual assault, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Much of the momentum behind this bill has been created in the aftermath of the Brock Turner incident, in which a convicted rapist was released from jail in less than three months and served no prison time for his crime. Such a bill would go a long way in closing out loopholes, poor judgment, and a culture of victim blaming that allowed the justice system to fail in the recent Stanford incident. What some are not aware of is that sexual assault is highly prevalent in relationships and marriages. If you have been sexually assaulted or experience ongoing domestic violence, you need legal representation at once.

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Can Unfortunately Go Hand-in-Hand

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California domestic violence attorney, California family law attorneyDomestic violence is an under-reported problem, and an issue that does not get enough attention in the media, considering how prevalent it occurs in our society and the damages that it does to millions of women around the country. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the term the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses to describe sexual, physical, or psychological harm inflicted on a partner or spouse from another. And, about one in three women experience domestic abuse (or IPV) in their lifetimes, according to the CDC. Although they make up the vast majority, it is not just women that experience domestic abuse. Men and women both experience it in hetero and same-sex marriages and partnerships. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 12 million people (men, women, and children) are raped each year in the U.S.

Right here in Santa Clara there simply are not enough resources and attention being given to the serious problem of domestic violence. In 2011, only 795 domestic violence survivors were able to gain access to domestic violence shelters and other services, while 1,842 survivors were unable to, according to the County of Santa Clara Office of Women’s Policy, meaning that many of these women had no other option than to continue living their nightmare in the home of their abuser. If you or a loved one is being abused, it is time to speak up immediately. Contact an experienced attorney to speak with someone who will aggressively attack the root of the problem and give you the protection that you need.

The CDC’s Risk Factors Contributing to Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Abuse

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