California domestic violence laws define domestic violence as physical, emotional or financial abuse that is directed at a family member (one’s child, grandchild, parent or grandparent) or at an intimate partner. Intimate partners, regardless of their sexual orientation, are significant others, former significant others, married, divorced, living together or formerly lived together, and those who have children together. When this type of abuse is targeted at one of the above listed people, the result is that the perpetrator will face specific Domestic Violence consequences in addition to the consequences that he or she faces for whatever crime he or she committed, because of the fact that the crime will be prosecuted as one of domestic abuse.
Domestic violence and, more specifically intimate partner abuse, is a real problem in this country and knows no ethnic, social or economic boundaries. It affects partners, families and children, friends and communities and has devastating, lasting effects on the abused. The goal of prevention is to stop Domestic Violence, and effective prevention should raise awareness about this growing problem, should stop abusive behavior and should empower victims of domestic violence to leave their abusive relationships. Although this country has made significant improvements in the ways that it responds to this issue, much more needs to be done to ultimately prevent the cycle of domestic violence.
Education is the key to the prevention of intimate partner violence. Counselors and medical professionals must receive training on recognizing the signs of abuse and how to approach an individual that they suspect is being abused. Victims must receive information on their rights and about resources that are available to assist them. The public must be made aware that domestic violence, in any form, is a crime and that offenders will receive severe punishment.
Prevention, in order to be successful, must address three issues. The first focuses on stopping the problem before it starts, which primarily is achieved through educating young persons about the problem. The second issue addresses services for “at-risk” individuals and provides resources to help these people identify known or suspected risk factors. This issue targets individuals, for example, who were either abused as children and therefore may be prone to domestic violence as adults, people with substance abuse issues, or anyone who may have exhibited violent behavior. The third issue is controlling behavior that already exists. This, for example, is punishment that a court imposes on a person convicted of a Domestic Violence-related crime as a result of the abuse that he or she already caused to his or her intimate partner or other family member.
Preventing domestic violence is the key to restoring and maintaining equality within a relationship that is affected by an imbalance of power. If successful, a couple or family will live in an environment that values respect, support, trust, honesty and accountability, responsible parenting, and economic equality, and that rejects violent, threatening and intimidating behavior.
If an individual thinks that he or she may be the victim of domestic or intimate partner abuse or thinks that he or she may need help for his or her own potential abusive behavior, there are signs and symptoms of domestic violence that are commonly recognized as requiring professional attention. Counseling and a host of other resources, easily accessible online, exist for both the victims of abuse and for the partners or family members who abuse those victims. Help is available for those who wish to seek it. The California domestic violence attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm can educate a DV victim about his or her rights and about where to get help, and will also fight for an individual accused of domestic violence. To discuss a domestic or intimate partner violence issue, contact The Kavinoky Law Firm today for a free consultation.