Across the United States, including New York, conflict impacts far more families and couples than most of us realize. Most domestic violence cases involve people in intimate relationships, usually as partners or married couples. But often, other family members can be drawn into domestic conflict. The majority of cases draw little public attention, but when high-profile individuals are involved or victims sustain serious or fatal injuries, the subject of domestic assault and violence gets widespread but often only fleeting attention.
Disputes happen in life, especially in a marriage or a relationship. Despite this, some arguments can go much further than a verbal disagreement. A physical altercation could destroy or harm the relationship. Furthermore, this could lead to a criminal charge for a spouse or member of the couple.
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.
One Bronx couple clearly has issues to work out, hopefully, with the help of some trained mediators or therapists. According to the New York Police Department, a domestic assault between a 33-year-old man and his 22-year-old girlfriend led to a badly burned apartment and criminal charges against both of them.
People who are accused of domestic assault often have a hard time defending themselves from the public's opinion of them. Many people assume that the accused is entirely guilty and probably started the altercation in the first place.
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.
The borough of Staten Island is making plans to build a shelter for victims of domestic violence in response to the increasing occurrence of domestic assault arrests in the area. The shelter is being described as a "one-stop haven" where victims of domestic assault will meet with prosecutors and counselors to discuss their cases. Similar centers are already in operation in Brooklyn and Queens, with one in Manhattan also scheduled to open. The centers are operated by the New York City Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence.
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.