July SCV Domestic Violence Reports Increase by 59% Over 2019
The number of reports of domestic violence in Santa Clarita Valley a higher than they were during the same time last year. The higher than normal reports of domestic violence also extends throughout Los Angeles County.
While reports of most other crimes have decreased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports of domestic violence have increased. From July 1 through July 20 of this year, there were 51 incidents of assault related to domestic violence. The incidents of domestic violence included reports of:
- Non-aggravated assault
- Aggravated assault
- Offense against the family
During the same period in 2019, there were only 32 reports. That is a 59 percent increase in 2020 from the same period in 2019.
Domestic Violence Increases Throughout Los Angeles
The problem is not limited to the Santa Clarita Valley area. During the first four months in 2019, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had 863 reports of incidents related to domestic violence.
During the same four months in 2020, the department had an eight percent increase in the number of domestic violence reports or 933 reports.
The increase in domestic violence is not limited to cities and counties in California. Instances of IPV (intimate partner violence) have increased nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Incidents of IPV are increasing worldwide.
Why are Domestic Violence Crimes Increasing?
The exact reason is not known. However, some experts believe that stay-at-home orders may be a contributing factor in the rise of domestic violence. Stress from financial concerns and health concerns could also be another contributing factor.
While these factors do not justify committing acts of domestic violence, they can help explain why we see an increase in the number of domestic violence crimes.
Women or men who are victims of domestic violence can seek help. They can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for more information. If they are in immediate threat of harm, they can call 911 for police intervention.
In Santa Clarita, they can call the Child & Family Center at 661-259-4357. The hotline operates 24 hours a day. The Domestic Violence Program through the Center can help victims file restraining orders and obtain other assistance.
Being Charged with Domestic Violence in Los Angeles
While domestic violence is a serious problem that is increasing, not all charges of domestic violence are valid. Until the state proves the legal elements of a domestic violence charge, the alleged perpetrator is presumed innocent under the law. However, that is not how the legal system treats alleged abusers.
In many cases, when a person is charged with domestic violence, they are assumed guilty until proven innocent. Law enforcement officials and judges often err on the side of caution. Being falsely accused of domestic violence can have severe consequences for an individual.
A person accused of domestic violence may be subject to a restraining order that prevents the person from entering their home or seeing their children. If they are convicted of a crime, they can face lengthy jail time and substantial fines.
Under California domestic violence laws, you can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor if the alleged victim is your:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Romantic partner
- Someone you are dating or formerly dated
- The parent of your child
- A roommate or former roommate
- Criminal threats
- Domestic battery
- Child abuse
- Violations of a protective order
- Elder abuse
- Child endangerment
The potential punishments for domestic violence crimes include more than jail and fines. You could lose your right to own a gun and be required to participate in one or more treatment or education programs. The long-term effects of a criminal record could damage your reputation and your career.
What Should You Do if You Are Accused of Domestic Violence?
Call a domestic violence lawyer in Los Angeles immediately if anyone accuses you of domestic violence. Even if the person has not called the police and you are not under arrest, you need to understand your legal rights. A criminal lawyer can explain your legal rights and advise you on the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
If you are arrested for domestic violence, do not resist arrest. Do not argue the charges with the police officers. Talking to the police is not helpful at this point.
The best action you can take is to remain silent.
Do not give in to the urge to explain your side of the story. Do not give a statement or answer questions without a lawyer present. Anything you say can be used against you in court.