Domestic violence is a problem that occurs far too often in San Diego. According to the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, 17,000 domestic violence incidents are reported to law enforcement in San Diego County each year. When people think of domestic violence, they usually imagine a dispute between a couple. Unfortunately, domestic violence is not an act that solely happens between couples, it happens between families – siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, even in-laws. Domestic violence not only affects the adults in the situation, domestic violence also negatively impacts the children.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a violent crime that occurs when a person imposes abuse or harm to another, be it a family member or partner. California Penal Code 13700(b) defines domestic violence as abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.
Abuse means to intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another in a position to cause serious bodily injury to himself or another person.
Example of Family Domestic Violence Among Family
A perfect example of family domestic is a July 23, 2019, story in NBC 7 News San Diego. The story discusses three adults being charged due to a family fight while at Disneyland. Children were screaming and witnesses helped to break up the fight.
A man is accused of attacking his sister, brother-in-law and girlfriend and endangering children who were with the family. The altercation was seen by several witnesses and bystanders. The man is facing felony counts of domestic battery, assault, criminal threats and child endangerment while the other family members are facing misdemeanor charges.
Handling a Domestic Violence Accusation
If you are being accused of domestic violence, here are some ways you can protect yourself:
- Gather evidence in your favor. Written statements, text messages, emails, and photos will help to show the status of your relationship with your accuser. If your criminal history is clean, get a report. This way, no one will be able to establish this pattern of behavior.
- Maintain your distance. Avoid contact and communication with your accuser. If you must talk to him or her, take note of any and all communications with the accuser. This means, if you talk to the accuser on the phone, record the conversation. Otherwise, communicate through text message or email.
- Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney. Do not pursue the accusation alone. Domestic violence accusations are emotional and can take a toll on your well-being. Discuss the accusation with a knowledgeable criminal attorney in your area. The attorney will establish a defense and help you navigate the procedures concerning the case.