Police in the Bronx recently arrested a 42-year-old man for domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend and a female friend. During the arrest, the man was shot in the wrist by police.

The alleged domestic abuse incident occurred at a Mother’s Day party that the man was attending with his ex-girlfriend and her family. The man, who reportedly suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, became upset when a family friend wanted to smoke a hookah pipe. He allegedly slammed the friend against a wall, and then assaulted his ex-girlfriend and one of her friends, when the friend returned home from buying beer.

The man then barricaded himself in his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, and the police unsuccessfully attempted to get him to open the door. The man was shot in the wrist when the police gained entry and was hospitalized. Charges are pending against the man, who has a record of previous arrests. Family members noted that the man had been acting erratically recently.

This case highlights the role that mental illness can play in the occurrence of domestic violence. Those with mental health problems do not have the inhibitions or the emotional control of healthy human beings, and can be more likely to commit acts of violence against loved ones or others.

A temporary restraining order (TRO) is one of the tools that a victim may use to protect him or herself from a domestic abuser. The order mandates that the abuser stay a certain distance from the victim and that he or she have no contact with the victim whatsoever. The abuser may be arrested and imprisoned for violating the order.

Any victim of domestic abuse is entitled to seek protection from his or her attacker. He or she may obtain an order of protection or a divorce from his or her spouse. The victim may seek asylum in a domestic abuse shelter as well. Anyone faced with the problem of domestic violence has the legal right to seek help and protection from harm.

Source: New York Daily News, “Mother’s Day Party ends in domestic violence, police shooting in Bronx,” Vera Chinese, Rocco Parascandola & Barry Paddock, May 13, 2013.