What is Domestic Violence?

In honor of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH, our firm wanted to recognize and discuss this alarmingly pervasive crisis facing today’s American men and women.

In definition, Domestic Violence is a form of physical or emotional trauma inflicted by one person towards a current or ex-spouse, current or ex-housemate, someone with whom the offender has a child, a significant other, or anyone whom is similarly situated under the California domestic or family violence law.

A Cohabitant is defined as two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship.

Factors that may determine whether people are cohabiting together include, but are not limited to:

  1. Sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters
  2. Sharing of income or expenses
  3. Joint use or ownership of property
  4. Whether the parties hold themselves out as husband and wife
  5. The continuity of the relationship
  6. The length of the relationship ( Penal Code §13700 (b) and Cal. Family Code §6211)

Domestic violence can be expressed in a variety of mediums. Domestic violence can be spoken, written, emotional, sexual, financial, or physical.

Physical abuse: The use of force against an individual that either injures or endangers that individual. This type of abuse is a crime and usually involves criminal consequences. In these types of situations, law enforcement authorities have the authority to protect the individual from the abuse.

Sexual abuse: An instance where an individual is forced to participate in any unwanted, unprotected, or degrading sexual activity. This type of sexual activity can even be perpetrated by a spouse or partner with whom the victim has had consensual sex with previously.

Emotional abuse: Abuse is not always visible. Some forms of abuse do not leave bruises or scars. Emotional abuse is considered a severely destructive form of abuse because it can and often is minimized and overlooked. The victim often makes excuses for the abuse and likely lives in denial that the abuse is occurring.

Many people think that domestic violence does not affect them because either they have not encountered it themselves or no one they know or are related/associated with have been affected by it. This is not so.

Just because an individual has not directly encountered the effects of domestic violence, does not mean it does not affect them. Domestic Violence, today is a silent epidemic. The people whom it plagues, these survivors, agonize, cope, and co-exist in silence. Their reasoning for remaining silent are numerous: fear, financial, victimization or personal blame, embarrassment, child involvement, language barriers, isolation, and more. Contact us at 310-745-8644.

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    "I came to Mr. Harris' services while in the midst of a not so pleasant separation. Mr. Harris walked me through each step of the divorce process, provided mediation when needed, and helped throughout the negotiations. Not once did I ever feel that I didn't know where my case was at in the process. Mr. Harris kept me informed and up-to-date on my case. He made sure that my best interest was always in consideration. As well, he would let me know if my request was not realistic or the best choice for an amicable situation and would provide alternate solutions that were reasonable and turned out to result in a much better outcome. It is without any reservation that I highly recommend his services."- Michelle