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October Is Domestic Violence Month According to a proclamation dated October 3, 2011 issued by The White House Office of the

Press Secretary regarding National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, President Barack Obamas administration demonstrated its work not only to curb domestic violence, but to bring it to an end. The proclamation, by virtue of the authority vested in the President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, proclaimed October 2011 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. By issuing this proclamation, the President was calling on all American citizens to speak out against domestic violence and to support local efforts to assist victims in finding help and healing. Young women are among the most vulnerable. They suffer the highest rates of intimate partner violence, but women and men are at risk. Domestic violence and exposure to it present the danger of not just physical, but also long-term emotional and psychological harm. Children are often the observers of domestic violence. These children face a higher risk of developing problems with substance abuse and emotional disorders. They tend to fail in school and are more likely to continue the cycle of violence themselves later in life. The Obama administration has accomplished the following in regard to dealing with domestic violence and its aftermath: A strategy for coordination across Federal agencies to stop and prevent domestic violence The introduction of Federal programs to help victims of domestic violence gain financial independence Helping prevent victims of domestic violence from being evicted from government housing Not allowing victims to be denied assisted housing after suffering abuse Promotion of better tools for enforcement of protective orders Aid to victims of domestic abuse who need legal representation and cannot afford it Domestic violence screening Domestic violence counseling As a part of the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services has put in place new guidelines making sure that women receive preventive health services free of charge which include screening and counseling and do not allow insurance companies to classify domestic violence as a pre-existing condition. Under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act providing communities with tools to help identify and treat victims, support service programs, provide shelters, etc.

Creation of the National Domestic Violence hotline connecting victims of domestic violence with resources they need and safety they deserve

Each October there is a recommitment to making sure no one suffers alone and to help victims of domestic violence achieve a safer future. Each October the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence joins domestic advocates throughout the state in commemorating the month as National Domestic Violence Month. The first domestic violence awareness month was observed in October 1987. In 1989 the United States Congress officially designated October as National Domestic Violence Month, and similar legislation has continued to be passed each year. All Charges of Domestic Violence Not ValidFalse Accusers There are in excess of 100,000 domestic violence calls every year in the state of California. Approximately, half of those calls end up with the filing of domestic violence charges. No one can deny the seriousness of charges which represent life-threatening situations. However, many of those charges are brought due to the simple fact that one individual made a statement which was interpreted to be a threat. Often as well, the victim or a claim of domestic violence makes a false accusation to police in the effort to exert physical, emotional, or financial control. Domestic violence statistics illustrate that a significant number of individuals who report domestic violence actually are lying or exaggerating to police in order to manipulate or control their intimate partner. The term intimate partner has come to mean all persons (heterosexual or homosexual) who are or were married, who have children in common, who are cohabiting or who are or were dating. By means of filing a false report of domestic violence, the accuser in the intimate relationship may feel she or he has the upper hand over the accused, thereby exercising power and control over the accused partner. False charges are also made out of jealousy or the feeling of a need for revenge. In these false cases the so-called victim of domestic abuse is actually breaking the law. False reporting of domestic abuse carries a punishment of up to four years in California state prison. Those who have been falsely accused of domestic violence usually ask themselves four questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. How serious are the charges which have been leveled against me? What steps are necessary to document and prove my innocence? What are my rights? What are my legal options?

The Following Steps Should Be Taken Once You Are Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence: Understand the seriousness of the false accusation made against youThe consequences of being charged with domestic violence can be extremely serious. Denying the magnitude of the charge may only cause you to delay and fail to take the correct steps immediately causing you to suffer future legal ramifications. Prepare for your defenseEven if falsely accused, there is a good chance you will face criminal charges which carry a heavy penalty and high conviction rate. In order to build a strong case in your defense, you will need expert witnesses and special psychological tests. You cannot afford an inadequate defense. Document your caseDocument as many details regarding your case as you can. Writing down details can be extremely helpful to you and to your attorneys. Educate yourselfLearn about the offense you have been charged with, the legal system, and your rights within the legal system. Make a list of all viable witnessesAs a criminal defendant, you have the right to gather witnesses in your defense. Make sure to record why a particular witness might be able to provide testimony which may aid your case. Finally, know your rightsIf you are arrested, you do not have to say anything beyond giving your name, address, and date of birth. Remain silent. Explaining yourself will do nothing to improve the situation. Leave that for a later time and contact an attorney. The Constitution guarantees your right to competent legal representation.

An Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help If you have been charged with a domestic violence event in California, contact the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys of Lessem & Newstat, LLP today. Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara County criminal defense attorneys Jeremy Lessem, Joshua Newstat, and Mark Lessem have handled thousands of domestic violence cases on behalf of clients throughout the state of California. Call (800) 295-1054 or fill out our convenient online contact form. These articles are provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Professional legal counsel should be sought for specific advice relevant to your circumstances.