Domestic Violence – Abusive Relationships

Domestic violence is not limited to marriage, and the protections of the law are available to men as well as women, and to partners in a same – sex relationship. It can take a wide range of forms, from physical violence to emotional or even economic abuse. Unfortunately, most domestic violence victims feel helpless, fearing that the law won’t protect them, that they somehow deserve the abuse, or that they would rather accept the abuse than be alone. There are ways to protect yourself—help is available.

The Nature of Domestic Abuse

Though domestic abuse is often referred to as spousal abuse, it actually applies to all situations where two people are cohabitating, whether you are in a domestic partnership or a same – sex relationship. Domestic violence generally serves one purpose—it allows the abuser to exert control over the victim. Because the ultimate goal is control, the abuser may use a variety of methods to obtain power of a victim, including beatings, threats of violence, guilt, shame and intimidation.

In every relationship, there are disagreements, right? In fact, if there are no disagreements, it may be one of the indicators that there is unhealthy control being exerted by one of the parties. But when does disagreement rise to the level of domestic abuse? Clearly, when verbal abuse escalates to physical violence, it has crossed the line. With the possible exception of self – defense, there is never a situation where physical violence between spouses or domestic partners is acceptable. Sexual abuse between partners or spouses can also be difficult to determine. However, whenever your partner forces you to engage in a sexual act against your will, or uses other threats or intimidation to coerce you into performing a sexual act, it is likely that you have been the victim of domestic abuse.

With respect to emotional or economic abuse, the signs can be even more subtle. Do you find that your spouse or partner repeatedly uses guilt, shame or humiliation to diminish your self-esteem, so that you comply with their wishes? Does your partner call you whenever you go out alone, even to the grocery store, to check where you are and when you will be home? Does your spouse take your paycheck and give you nothing or little in return, or refuse to provide you with money to meet your most basic needs? Will they only allow you to go out in public if they come along?

Noticing the early signs of domestic abuse and taking steps to stop them can often prevent the escalation that results in physical injury.

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At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To arrange a private meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania domestic violence attorney, contact us online or call our office at 717-233-5292. Se habla Espãnol.

Recognizing the Signs of Domestic Violence

Do you have a loved one that you think might be the victim of domestic violence or abuse? Unfortunately, in many domestic violence situations, the victims will go to great lengths to cover up the signs of abuse, fearing that they will be subject to further abuse, or that others will blame them for allowing themselves to become victims. This blog post identifies the typical warning signs of domestic violence.

How to Spot a Victim of Domestic Abuse

Though you can never be certain what happens in the privacy of someone’s home, there are behavioral traits that are common among victims of domestic violence. The violence may not necessarily be physical, but may take the form of psychological, emotional or economic control. Some of the early indications of the possibility of domestic abuse include:

• Always agreeing with anything a partner says or does
• Calling a partner or spouse on a regular basis to “check in” or report where they are and what they are doing
• Receiving frequent phone calls from partners or spouses
• Seeming afraid of or anxious to please a partner or spouse
• Making references to a partner’s possessiveness, jealousy or temper

Frequently, one of the tools that an abuser will use to exert control is to try to isolate the victim from all outside influence. If a person never seems to be available to see you, or won’t go out in public without their spouse or partner, it can be a warning sign that their partner is limiting their access to others. A particularly effective way of doing this may be to deprive the victim of money, credit cards or a vehicle, so that they can’t go anywhere and have no funds to do anything.

If the abuse is psychological, one of the first signs may be a personality change. A person who used to seem confident, but now seems tentative, may be the victim of domestic abuse. Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and suicidal words or acts are all ways that victims respond to domestic violence.

The warning signs of physical violence may be just as difficult to see, as victims may use a variety of means to keep others from seeing the evidence. They may seem to “overdress,” wearing long sleeves in warm weather, or dark glasses inside. They may choose not to come to work, school or social functions. If they must get out, they may frequently show injuries, but always have an excuse…an accident that was entirely their fault.

Contact Our Office

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To arrange a private meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania domestic violence attorney, contact us online or call our office at 717-233-5292. Se habla Espãnol.

What is Domestic Violence?

In today’s society, though we seem to have a greater awareness of the existence of domestic violence, it still remains largely hidden from public view. Often, the victims go to great lengths to mask any evidence of domestic violence, for fear that they won’t get the protection they need, or that they will be left alone to fend for themselves. Domestic violence takes many shapes and forms, including far more than physical abuse. This blog post provides a general overview of what constitutes domestic violence.

The Many Faces of Domestic Violence or Abuse

At its most fundamental level, domestic violence or abuse includes a broad range of acts perpetrated by one personal against someone with whom that person has an intimate relationship, including a partner, spouse or family member. Domestic violence is generally a coercive act used by one person to exert power or control over the victim. While men or women can be victims of domestic abuse, the majority of victims are women. In a survey conducted by the National Institute of Justice, nearly 25% of women said they were raped or physically assaulted by a date, live-in partner or spouse at some point in their lifetime.

Domestic violence can take forms other than physical abuse. The abuser may engage in emotional and psychological intimidation, or may make the victim the subject of continual verbal abuse. They may also engage in stalking, phone or mail harassment, and economic control. Domestic violence has also taken the form of the destruction of property, particularly items that have significant meaning or value to the victim. The abuser may intercept phone calls in an attempt to isolate the victim from friends and family members, and may deny the victim access to wages, medication or a vehicle. The violence can also be committed against a pet of the victim.

The most common forms of domestic violence include:

Physical abuse, such as hitting, slapping, pushing, choking, punching, pulling hair or beating with any type of object. It can also include the denial of medical care, or of sleep, or forcing the victim to use drugs or alcohol.
Emotional abuse, such as isolating the victim, denying the victim access to basic necessities, withholding information from the victim, attempting to humiliate the victim (publicly or privately)
Sexual abuse, including coercing a partner to have sex against their will, rape or other forcible sexual contact
Verbal abuse, from threatening language to name-calling, blaming, and continual criticism
Economic abuse, such as denying the victim access to reasonable resources to meet economic needs

Contact Our Office

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To arrange a private meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania domestic violence attorney, contact us online or call our office at 717-233-5292. Se habla Espãnol.

Deportable Offenses

Under U.S. immigration laws, if you have temporary or permanent residency status, you can still face deportation proceedings if you are convicted of certain crimes. In some cases, when the criminal prosecution begins, the judge may also initiate deportation proceedings, and seek to have you permanently removed from the country. You have the right to fight these proceedings, but you want an experienced lawyer to protect your rights. This blog identifies the types of offenses that may lead to deportation proceedings, as well as some basic steps you should take to protect your rights.

Types of Crimes that May Lead to Deportation or Removal Proceedings

As a general rule, most minor misdemeanors or infractions will not be the basis for a deportation proceeding. Traffic violations, including drunk driving, generally do not rise to the level of offense leading to removal efforts. However, the following crimes can make you a party to a deportation proceeding:

    Drug offenses, such as possession, sale or trafficking, and manufacturing or cultivation
    • Firearms crimes, including illegal possession or sale of a weapon
    • Domestic violence
    • Sex crimes, such as rape, molestation, prostitution or solicitation, or child pornography offenses
    • Violent crimes, including assault and homicide
    • Kidnapping

Taking Steps to Protect Your Rights

When you have been charged with a criminal offense as a green card holder, your first step should be to contact an experienced attorney. You will be entitled to a phone call when taken into custody. Use that call to contact your lawyer and request that they come to the police station.

Once you have been taken into custody, you have certain constitutional rights. The police must notify you of your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent, and the right to have an attorney present. It is important that you exercise your right not to talk with police. Even though the American criminal justice system is based on the belief that you are innocent until proven guilty, the police will exert more energy to establish your guilt than to prove your innocence.

If you are merely under investigation and the police show up at your home, you do not have to allow them in, unless they have a valid search warrant. Don’t let them come in if they don’t have one. Anything that they see that they can reasonably argue gave them a suspicion of criminal activity will be the basis for an immediate search, and a warrant won’t be necessary.

Contact Our Office

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To arrange a private meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, contact us online.

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