by Eric Granof
Despite nationwide efforts to curb domestic violence, recent evidence suggests that the problem isn’t going away anytime soon. The Los Angeles Police Department released statistics in January that showed violent crime actually increased 14.3% the past year, the majority stemming from domestic violence.
The New York City Housing Authority released late last year that showed domestic violence to be on the rise in public housing, with nearly twice the number of reported incidents from 2009 to 2013. And in Seattle, the local YWCA provided services to 10,515 abused women in 2014 – an increase of nearly 10% from the year prior.
It’s worth noting that while victims of abuse are typically female, the National Domestic Violence Hotline reported that in 2013, 13% of documented calls for help they received came from men.
It has been suggested that the majority of recorded increases are merely the result of how police reports are file or how collected data is interpreted. Still, evidence shows that domestic violence continues to be a major problem throughout the U.S.
Determining the cause is as difficult as it to unravel the personal dynamics in any given family or relationship. An already precarious domestic environment can be tipped out-of-balance under the wrong circumstances. The reasons can be as varied as financial difficulties, problems at work or the suspicion that a partner is cheating. Otherwise loving family members can turn into out-of-control monsters under certain circumstances. A verbal attack and equally harsh retaliation can soon escalate into physical violence. In a flash, the police arrive and someone is being hauled off to jail in handcuffs, while the other may headed to a hospital emergency room.
Once the initial altercation has passed, victims are typically at a loss as to where to turn for help. If they are in an abusive relationship, which is usually the case, they may not know how to escape from it. Complicating matters is the fact that they are often called upon to bail out of jail the very person who assaulted them in the first place. They can easily be caught up in situation that can turn ugly again – sometimes with deadly results.
As for the perpetrator of domestic abuse, the consequences can be severe, especially in the event of a criminal conviction.
– Loss of custodial or visitation rights to one’s own child.
– Payment of monetary damages to cover a victim’s losses, which may include severe punitive damages.
– Loss of one’s driver license.
– Conviction for domestic violence or other felony will affect future employment.
– Those convicted of a felony may be permanently barred from voting in elections.
– Hinder the ability to rent an apartment or house.
– Prevent eligibility for professional licenses (e.g., accounting, electrician, insurance agent).
Bail bond agents are among the first persons an individual will speak with after they’ve been arrested. The purpose of posting bail, of course, is to ensure that a person who has been arrested shows up for their court appearances, with personal accountability being of paramount importance.
Emotions generally are running high in these situations, but an effective bondsman frequently takes on the role of a counselor, gently helping everyone get through one of the most tumultuous moments of their lives. Working with families, they often help them locate resources necessary to aid in their recovery — critical to redirecting lives possibly headed on a path to destruction.
While domestic abuse continues to plague our nation, perpetrators must be made to understand the consequences of their actions. It is equally important for victims to know they have viable options other than enduring the continuing cycle of violence.