Because of many factors, including work-from-home, homeschooling, the existential dread of the Pandemic, lack of space in the home, and even some regions releasing violent criminals early, there has been a worldwide surge in Domestic Violence arrests and Restraining Orders. These orders and arrests are very serious, and you should make sure you know your rights if you are ever accused of any crime.
Putting that aside for a moment, there has also been an increase in charges that may not be warranted, or even filed/charged by either party involved.
It is also fairly common for restraining orders to be used as an attempt to gain custody of children, deny visitation rights, or simply as a way to harm an ex-spouse or noncustodial parent. Filing for revenge is more common than most people realize.
There are many instances where the police are called because a third-party hears or thinks they are seeing a domestic dispute which, to the people involved, may just be a heated argument or something else entirely. The police are obligated to follow up on these calls and you should always seek legal advice when dealing with the police.
Always follow the orders of law enforcement, but seek legal advice as soon as possible from an attorney.
We don’t want to understate that domestic abuse happens and is a serious crime.
If you or someone you know is currently in a dangerous situation, please contact 9-1-1 or your local police resources. In Washington County, Oregon, we also have the Domestic Violence Resource Center.
Domestic Violence Resource Center (DVRC)
DVRC offers free individual counseling and weekly support groups for survivors of domestic violence, as well as counseling for children who have witnessed domestic violence. DVRC is responsible for Washington County’s domestic violence shelter, Monica’s House, and also facilitates restraining orders for our county. Most services are also provided in Spanish.
503-906-1221; Crisis: 503-469-8620
When An Argument Is Misunderstood
As mentioned earlier, couples may think they are just having a heated argument and a third party can call the police or 9-1-1. This call could come from a concerned neighbor or a family member or other person close-by to an argument. This is one of the most common issues we see when there is no malfeasance involved.
Being charged with domestic abuse is a very serious offense and you should seek legal council if you are in this position. We also can refer to or involve a family attorney for cases involving marriage or children as needed.
If we can all try to remain calm as we navigate the pandemic issues, we can help alleviate some of the stresses that can lead to heated arguments and potential misunderstandings. Please stay safe.