Domestic Violence Family Law

Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children – As Per Age Group:

Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children – As Per Age Group:

Exposure to domestic violence has negative effects on children. To properly understand these effects, it is important to first understand the dynamics of domestic violence. Domestic violence is prevalent in all groups of people regardless of age, education, race, occupational, social-economical and religious factors.Characteristically, it involves a series of repetitive abuse, including psychological, physical, economical and emotional abuse. The perpetrator uses violence to gain control and power through the use of humiliation, intimidation, and fear.

Children get affected by domestic violence differently at various developmental stages. This is because as they grow and develop both mentally and physically, they learn new things at each age. Being a victim or witnessing domestic violence can interfere with the child’s normal growth and threatens their sense of security.

Studies indicate that children who have been exposed to domestic violence have a greater likelihood of experiencing various difficulties than their peers.

These difficulties can be categorized into:

1. Emotional, social and behavioral problems:
Exposure to domestic violence by children is likely to make them anxious and depressed or exhibit antisocial and aggressive behavior. Other negative effects may include higher levels of hostility, low self-esteem, anger, disobedience and oppositional behavior; fear and withdrawal; and poor sibling, peer, and social relationships.2. Attitudinal and Cognitive and problems:
These children are likely to experience difficulties in school and have poor performance in assessments of motor, verbal and cognitive skills. Moreover, they are likely to have a slow cognitive development, limited problem solving skills, lack of conflict resolution skills, aggressive attitudes, and a rigid belief in gender stereotypes such as male domination.3. Long-term (Behavioral) Problems:

Studies indicate males exposed to domestic violence at a tender age are more likely to develop violent behavior; likewise, females are more likely to become victims.Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children – As Per Age Group:Unborn Child (Infants): 

Infants and toddlers learn through play and exploration, how to form secure attachments. If exposed to violence at this age, they learn that the parents are not likely to constantly respond to their needs which hinder the development of a strong bond between the parent and the infant. Thus, the child becomes afraid to explore their world, which interferes with play and slows down their learning process.

The effects to Infants include:

1. Emotional Effects: Hyper-excitability; Anxiety Tension and stress; Helplessness; Terrorized and Traumatized.
2. Cognitive Effects: Brain damage; Nervous system disorders and Developmental delays.
3. Physical Effects: Birth defects, forced abortion or miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, unwanted by parent and abandoned by parent.The effects to toddlers (children less than one year old):

1. Emotional Effects: Traumatized, jumpy, nervous, hyper-alert, anxious, stressed, and fearful; Emotional deprivation; and Strong need for safety.
2. Cognitive Effects: Unresponsive; Developmentally delayed.

3. Behavioral Effects: Colicky, excessive crying; Injuries and bruises; Chronic constipation; Eating problems; Sleep disturbances; Malnutrition; Digestive problems; Allergies/skin rashesPreschoolers (One To Five Years):Children at this age bracket have started learning how to express most of their emotions, including those of anger and aggression. Thus, children at this age living in situation where there is domestic violence can learn detrimental ways of expressing anger and frustration. Moreover they get confused with the mixed messages their parents are sending them; for instance, they are punished for talking rudely while their parents talk rudely to each other.

The effects to Preschoolers include:

1. Emotional Effects: Fearfulness; easily frustrated; anxiety; fearful of abuser; feels split between parents; hesitant and uncertain; low self-esteem, and feels powerless to protect self.
2. Cognitive Effects: Sleep disorders; disrespect for women; unable to focus; and developmentally delayed.
3. Behavioral Effects: Tantrums; models abusive behavior; mimics abuser’s behavior; parrots name-calling; bedwetting; spitting; acting out behaviors; slaps, kicks, punches, swears; tries to protect mother; protective toward younger children; breaks toys; bullies younger siblings; thumb sucking; and nervous habitsSchool-Age Children (Five To Twelve Years):

The children have a better sense of their own emotions and can also recognize the emotions of others. They are more conscious of their own actions and reactions towards violence inflicted to them and may worry about their father being jailed or their mother being harmed. This distracts the child development process which at this age revolves around social and academic success. They become distracted hindering their ability to learn in school. Moreover, they develop poor social skills and tend to pay more attention to negative responses from their teachers and peers and miss hearing positive responses leading to low self esteem. At this age group, the children begin to have multifaceted thoughts about what is right and wrong. Thus, they are more susceptible to learning and accepting biased, incorrect explanations to support violence.The effects to School-Age Children include:1. Emotional Effects: Cries easily or frequently; lack of trust; lack of normal feelings; feelings of despair; helplessness or hopelessness, lack of empathy or concern for others; and anger towards the parents, especially the mother.

2. Cognitive Effects: Learning disabilities or has special needs; suicidal thoughts; withdrawn or quiet; lack of focus and structure; attracted to cults or pornography; overly responsible or tries to be too adult; and lack of responsibility.

3. Behavioral Effects: Violence towards abuser; Destroys property; Tries to be in control; Violent acting out behavior; Perfectionism; Running away; Lack of boundaries and limitsAdolescents (Teenagers):These children are fully aware of what is right or wrong but have the need to have a sense of belonging. They experience similar problem that the school-age children undergo but at a higher level. They are characterized by secretive and guarded behavior about the situation at home and are also embarrassed of their family members. Thus, they do not invite friends over and are likely to spend most of their free time away from home. Aggression and Denial are the major ways of solving problems.

The effects to Adolescents Boys include:

1. Emotional Effects: Feelings of guilt and powerlessness; withdraws and shuts down; embarrassment and Shame; Needs to control; and Lack of friends.
2. Cognitive Effects: May drops out of school; school attendance problems; Suicidal thoughts; “Macho” attitudes; Thinks violence is okay in relationships;
3. Behavioral Effects: Uses violence to solve conflicts and problems; abuses alcohol and drugs; acting out behaviors; antisocial behaviors; suicidal; problems with relationships; self-harm behaviors; homicidal towards abuser; and sexual problems.The effects to Adolescents Girls include:

1. Emotional Effects: Distrustful of others or have trust issues; blames or hates mother; needy – wants to be taken care of and protected; restlessness and feelings of tension; Feels hopeless or helpless; Confused about role models; self-blame and feels guilt about abuse; manic-depressive and “Numbs out” emotionally.
2. Cognitive Effects: Looks for protection from a male figure; school work problems; Lack of self understanding; Lack of boundaries and limits; mimics or takes on others’ personalities; multiple or split personalities; and Problem with concentrating and focusing.
3. Behavioral Effects: Unable to function at home; Drug or alcohol abuse; Unable to function in relationships; Runs away from home; Pregnancy or early marriage; gets involved in prostitution; distorted perceptions of body and Eating disorders.

Author Bio:
Cally Greene is an online consultant for domestic violence lawyer at JoeyGilbertLaw. She likes blogging about Legal issues,Business law,Family Law and other Legal advice.
You can contact her via Twitter.

Domestic Violence

Victim Compensation in Domestic Violence Claims

(US law and generally) If you were injured as the result of domestic violence, you know that it can take years to put all the pieces of your life back together. You might think that after a successful criminal hearing you have done everything possible to exercise all of your legal rights. However, many victims fail to realize that they are also entitled to compensation for their injuries and can pursue compensation by filing a civil complaint against their abuser. Find out how you can fight for the compensation you deserve legally so that you can recover from the violence without struggling financially.

What Type of Compensation Are You Entitled To As the Victim of Domestic Violence?

Victims of domestic violence can sustain a number of different types of physical and emotional injuries. While the most commonly recognized injuries are typically physical where abuse is concerned, emotional abuse is also very common when someone is injured at the hands of someone they love. While criminal laws are very well known and are enforced in each state, civil laws also exist to provide recourse for victims who want to pursue compensation for their injuries.

You have the right to pursue your abuser civilly even after you have pursued them in the criminal court. When you are pursuing your abuser civilly, you are taking the assailant to court to hold them liable for the costs of your injuries so that you are not stuck paying for your medical care and the care you will need for recovery. Our attorney, from law firm Tenn and Tenn explains that if the court orders that the defendant is responsible for your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation in the form of awarded damages. These damages can range in severity and depend on state laws. If you are not familiar with the laws concerning damages in your state, speak with a personal injury law firm and find out everything you need to know.

How Can the Criminal Case Help You When Filing a Civil Case?

As you might know, having evidence whenever you are going to court will help you when you are trying to prove your complaint is accurate and true. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should always call the local authorities before doing anything else and have the abuser arrested. Once you file a restraining order and you are in a safe environment, you can use the police report and the evidence from the criminal proceeding to help you win your civil case. Our lawyer further advises that documents such as the incident report, statements from law enforcement officers, photos of injuries, and medical treatment bills can all be used to support your claim.

Everyone deserves to have a loving relationship where they feel safe. If you are the victim of domestic violence rebuilding your life can be a long and arduous road. Remember though you are entitled to compensation for the physical and psychological injuries you suffered, to help make that road to recovery a little easier.

About the Author

This article was written by Georgina Clatworthy an experienced legal writer and editor. She is currently a contributing writer for the New Hampshire personal injury specialists at Tenn and Tenn, whose approach to claims from victims of domestic violence is with diligence and empathy, ensuring every client receives the compensation they deserve.


Domestic Violence

Wrongfully Accused Of Domestic Violence? 5 Things You Need To Know

Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States. Several high profile murder cases have shown what unreported domestic violence can lead to. Unfortunately, there are those who will make false domestic violence allegations against another person in order to have ammunition in custody battles or even just to punish someone for a real or imagined slight. Sadly, the court system is not properly set up to handle those unjustly accused of domestic violence, so many innocent people face harsh consequences. Knowledge will give anyone an advantage in court, so there are five specific things a person should know when wrongfully accused of domestic violence.

1. Custody Issue

Many people will be tempted to take a plea deal to get out of jail quickly. This is a terrible idea, especially if a person has children. A protective order will likely be issued for the accuser and their children, which will already take time away from the accused parent. The big issue is that a domestic violence conviction can be used against a person in a child custody case. If a court has the choice between two parents, one of whom has a domestic violence conviction, the court is likely to side with the accuser.

2. Housing Issues

Even if a person hasn’t been convicted, the false accuser will have exclusive use of the couple’s home. This means an accused person cannot go to the house until the court gives them permission, even if the home is solely in their name. A person must contact police to have an officer escort them to the home if they want to remove any of their belongings.

3. No Physical Contact Necessary

Many people believe that they must physically touch someone for a domestic violence charge to stick. This leaves many people sitting in jail when they choose to represent themselves or use an overworked public defender. Domestic violence can consist of an assault on a spouse. Assault is defined as the threat of harm with the actual ability to cause it. According to Katz & Phillips, with so many nuances in domestic violence issues an Orlando criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the pitfalls inherent in a domestic violence case. When charges can be brought based solely on a significant other claiming that they felt threatened, it is nothing to be taken lightly.

4. Keep Track of any Communication from Accuser

There are times when an accuser may contact their spouse and want to meet up with them. All domestic violence cases bring with them an automatic restraining order, so under no circumstances should this be done, even if the two have completely resolved their issues. This may also be a clever ploy to have the accused violate their restraining order. There is still a criminal case which must be considered. A person should keep record of any calls, texts or emails where the accuser requests a meeting. This will show the court that the accuser is not in actual fear for their own safety.

5. Anger Management

Courts will often sentence a person to anger management classes if they are convicted of domestic violence. These classes must be completed even if a person reconciles with their false accuser. The state will not provide these classes free of charge, so it will become another unfair burden on the wrongly accused. This is just another portion of money that a person will lose if convicted, so it is very important to find an Orlando criminal attorney who can handle the case. Facing a domestic violence charge alone or with a mediocre lawyer is the best way for a person wrongly accused of domestic violence to face consequences that they don’t deserve.

False domestic violence allegations have the same consequences as an actual domestic abuse case. These charges should never be taken lightly due to the fact that a conviction will most likely have permanent negative effects on a person’s life. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer should be hired as soon as possible. The cost of a lawyer is nothing compared to the consequences that a conviction brings with it.

Molly Henshaw is a freelance writer and law student living in the DC metro area. She is also a contributing author for the defense team of Katz & Phillips. It is essential to consult an attorney and be aware of all of your rights!

Domestic Violence Family Law

‘Clare’s Law’- A change for the better for victims of domestic violence?

In October 2008, Clare Wood ended her relationship with George Appleton. Her rejection sparked a campaign of abuse, resulting in her horrific murder four months later. Appleton had a history of violence against women, including harassment, threats and kidnapping a former girlfriend at knifepoint.

Despite a number of complaints to the police, resulting in a panic button being fitted in her home, this was not enough to save Clare. Her murder made clear that the treatment of domestic crime requires improvement. This led to a government proposal, named ‘Clare’s Law’, enabling the police to disclose information to partners of those with histories of domestic violence.

The pilot scheme, announced on 5th March 2012, will begin this summer. It follows a government consultation published in October 2011 which investigated whether a national disclosure scheme could improve the safety of people in relationships with previous offenders. The initial consultation raised important issues, such as how much information should be released and in which circumstances, and how malicious requests will be avoided. The government seeks to address these matters during the scheme’s trial.

The pilot is testing two processes for disclosing information about a partner’s violent history; the first is triggered by a query from a member of the public (‘The Right To Ask’); the second is where police disclose information in order to protect a potential victim (‘The Right To Know’). Taking into account the amount of government and police time, and taxpayers’ money spent on this issue, it is important to consider the implications of this scheme.

Two people are killed by their partner each week in England and Wales; domestic violence is the cause of nearly 40 per cent of all female[1] UK homicides[2]. Evidently, government attention in this area is required, but is Clare’s Law the answer to reducing these figures? Refuge, one of the UK’s longest running domestic violence charities does not think so. The charity has criticised the proposed disclosure laws as ‘reactive rather than proactive’.

The theory behind the Government’s scheme is that if someone told that their partner has a history of domestic violence, they can then make an informed decision whether to continue with the relationship. This, however, raises many problems; if, like Clare Wood, a woman had no previous indication of her partner’s violent behaviour, then she would be unlikely to make an enquiry. Also, it is extremely doubtful that the scheme anticipates all those embarking on a new romance to carry out a police background check – it is simply unrealistic and doesn’t reflect reality.

Further, it is often on ending the relationship that people turn violent, as was the case with Wood and Appleton. Considering this, what is a woman to do when burdened with the information of her partner’s history? Many in such relationships stay with their partners out of fear for what would happen should they leave. Others might not leave because of love and belief that their partner can change. Would a woman be blamed for not leaving her partner when informed of his violent past?

The proposed ‘Right To Know’ process means police will inform potential victims of domestic violence. Statistics show that 44 per cent of victims are involved in more than one incident[3], so certainly many victims are already aware of what their partners are capable of, without being informed by the police. Knowing that their partners terrorised others before them would provide little solace.

Additionally, how would the police determine who they should inform? Appleton trawled social networking sites looking for his women. Are the police to follow these men from relationship to relationship, or message all their Facebook friends issuing warnings; for surely any one of them could be his potential victim. If a woman was able to escape an abusive relationship as a result of police disclosure, the perpetrator would simply be able to move onto his next victim. The problem is thereby displaced rather than prevented.

The police can only inform on the basis of information they have available: the details of those previously convicted. Considering that less than 40 per cent of domestic violence cases are reported to the police, a minor proportion of offenders will have police records, making it extremely unlikely for those making enquiries under ‘The Right To Know’ to obtain accurate information.

Having considered the implications of the proposed scheme, I think the most important thing is the way in which the police handle the disclosures. Potentially life-changing and life-threatening information is dangerous if unaccompanied by police support and intervention. Because the majority of cases go unreported, police time would be better spent conducting thorough investigations into allegations of abuse and monitoring those with troublesome histories. In a less than ideal world where prevention is impossible, protection should be key.

By Judy Benmayer of

HighStreetLawyer offers advice in all areas of law, including Family Law problems.

[1] Although it is recognised that men also suffer from domestic violence, it is primarily an issue affecting women, (a third of domestic violence victims are men according to the National Centre for Domestic Violence). It is currently unclear whether Clare’s Law would apply to male and female victims, as so this article has been written from a female-centric perspective.

[2]  (Povey, (ed.), 2005; Home Office, 1999; Department of Health, 2005.)

[3] Dodd et al