Being accused of a crime can be a very serious and even damaging situation. This is especially true for celebrities and public figures. When they face a criminal charge they often also endure a damaged reputation, which could significantly affect their personal and professional life.
Football enthusiasts, including the ones in White Plains, New York, may remember Artrell Hawkins from his collegiate and professional football career. Hawkins may not have been as fortunate as other elite football players in his professional exploits. However, he may have just scored his most decisive touchdown in life when a judge found him not guilty of the domestic violence charges filed against him.
Domestic conflict is a sensitive topic in New York State just as in most states in the country. It usually involves spouses or children harmed as a result of one person's abusive behavior. Restraining orders are often served following an incident of domestic assault in hopes of preventing more incidents of abuse. More often than not, the person accused of instigating a domestic abuse incident will face criminal charges.
Recently, anti-domestic violence advocates held a conference in Rockland County, New York, where October was designated as the Domestic violence awareness month. The goal of the conference and of the activists is to work to empower the victims of domestic violence to end the problem and to bring awareness to it. The activists were joined by district attorneys and local office holders who highlighted programs designed to fight domestic abuse. According to some of the activists, there is much work to be done in order to fight the problem; in New York State, there were 85,000 cases of domestic violence last year and 60 deaths. According to one estimate, one in four women will be affected by domestic violence. A Rockland County activist said that approximately 250 to 300 people came to their walk-in office per month. The conference highlighted numerous events throughout October to help victims, remember those who died, and thank supporters of their efforts.
While much of the attention directed at the social problem of domestic violence has focused on battered wives, men are also the victim of domestic abuse, a problem that is frequently overlooked. According a 2010 study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 25 percent of men are the victims of rape, stalking, or domestic violence by a significant other. The study's findings report a decrease in the number of domestic abuse incidents against women, but an increase in the number of incidents against men. This is likely due to the fact that domestic violence against men is still considered a taboo subject among many, as well as a source of shame and embarrassment. In addition, many male victims of domestic violence are in same-sex relationships and may not report the crime due to a fear of having their homosexual status made public. Men are considered to be the stronger gender, so being beaten by a spouse may be seen as a sign of weakness.
Recently, the former mayor of White Plains, New York, was acquitted by a jury of domestic violence charges after a re-trial of the original case. The mayor previously had been convicted of harassment and attempted assault of his ex-wife, who alleged that he threw hot tea at her and intentionally slammed a door on her fingers. The domestic abuse allegations led to his resignation as mayor, ending a once-promising political career. His convictions later were overturned by an appeals court, which held that he had been wrongfully denied the opportunity to call witnesses in his defense against the accusations, leading to the need for a retrial. At the retrial, a witness for the husband alleged that the wife stated that the door-slamming incident might have been an accident, casting doubt on her allegations of domestic violence.
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.
Recently, the New York Department of State enacted an initiative designed to help the victims of domestic abuse conceal their current addresses from their alleged abusers. The Address Confidentiality Program is offered at no cost, and allows for children, parents and siblings of the victim to sign up as well. Under this program, victims of domestic abuse are assigned a substitute address to which their mail is addressed, and the mail is then forwarded to their actual address by the New York Department of State. The program is designed to benefit victims of domestic abuse who have relocated from their original home, and is intended to protect them from any potential attacks or harassment from their alleged abusers. The program requires that state and local governments accept the substitute address. Program participants are issued an identification card, and the substitute address may be used for court and government records.
Post Title: Domestic violence carries financial costs for victims