The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a municipal ordinance that has a negative impact on victims of domestic violence by encourging landlords to evict tenants who have had the police called three times within four months. If landlords do not evict those tenants then they face a fine from the city. While at first glance this doesn't seem like a problem - no one wants disorderly neighbors - the truth is that it often affects those who were not responsible for the disruptive conduct, but rather those who were victims of it.
A federal lawmaker from Nevada is denying allegations that he assaulted his first wife during their brief marriage in the 1980s. The documents that falsely accuse him of domestic abuse were, he says, provided by a political opponent in an effort to unseat him from his current position in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1994, Congress passed the first federal law regarding domestic violence in America. At that time, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was a landmark piece of legislation, calling attention to an issue that many people had previously considered to be private family business out of the purview of the justice system. In the years that followed, state and local agencies worked to punish and prevent domestic violence and to offer legal and logistical assistance to the victims of abuse.
Last week, we started to discuss emotional and psychological abuse as forms of domestic violence in a general way. This week, we'd like to give that conversation a more practical focus by talking about specific kinds of emotionally and psychologically damaging behavior and how these forms of domestic violence tend to play out in Las Vegas and Nevada family law cases.
Acts of domestic violence often trigger the decision to get a divorce. Prior acts of domestic violence also have a huge impact on the divorce-related issues of child custody and visitation. Mention the term "domestic violence," however, and most Las Vegas residents will think only about physical violence committed by men against women. Yet according to many organizations and individuals who have worked on this issue, emotional and psychological abuse is both the worst type and most common type of domestic violence affecting women and children today.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, many American families found themselves under incredible pressure as they struggled to make ends meet, and as a result, marriages began to fracture. Surprisingly, the divorce rate did not increase. Just the opposite happened, actually: the divorce rate dropped. And during what many economists have labeled the "Great Recession," the same thing happened. More and more couples were driven to the brink of separation, but fewer actually divorced.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion of financial abuse and how it often makes it difficult for victims of domestic violence to leave an abusive marriage. Experts say that there is a strong correlation between physical and financial abuse, both of which can lead to long-term consequences for abuse victims.
Money is an inevitable concern for nearly every couple that is contemplating divorce. The financial cost of dividing a family from one household into two, as well as court costs and attorney's fees, can be a tremendous burden for cash-strapped families. However, for victims of "financial abuse," money can be an insurmountable obstacle to divorce, forcing spouses to remain in unhealthy relationships.
A recent study placed Nevada first on a national ranking of the number of women killed by men in domestic violence incidents. The study, which was conducted using 2009 crime data provided by the FBI, showed that 2.7 women were killed by men per every 100,000 Nevada.
Russell Armstrong, the husband of Taylor Armstrong, one of the cast members of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," reportedly committed suicide earlier this week after repeated public allegations that he abused his wife and multiple reports of financial fraud and other difficulties.