What is domestic violence and how is it prosecuted?

Domestic violence is defined as violence within the home where one spouse is physically abusive to the other. Often in domestic abuse cases, the victim is hesitant to report the violence because the psychological and emotional toll that this type of violence takes. Moreover, the perpetrator of the violence tends to isolate the victim in such a way that the victim feels completely alone. In saying that, unreported domestic violence usually continues and can lead to serious bodily injury and even death.

There is no particular class of people in Orange County that is impacted by domestic violence. It can affect people from all different walks of life. So to say that domestic violence is a problem for lower income families or families of a certain race is an inaccurate statement. People of all walks of life can be a part of this cycle of violence. In dealing with domestic violence, there are not always easy answers or outcomes. The victims have to face their abusers, which is an extremely difficult thing to do.

In prosecuting domestic violence cases, having the victim come forward, confront his or her abuser, and press charges where appropriate is the most effective way to put an end to the violence. However, it is not necessary that the victim formally press charges. Because domestic violence is considered a criminal offense, the state may be able to bring charges on its own depending upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation. If that happens, then the state will pursue a criminal case against the abuser and this can be done independently of any civil remedy that the victim may pursue.

Reporting domestic violence is an important first step in putting an end to an abusive relationship. Victims also have the option of seeking monetary damages from their abusers.