Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What is the media portraying?

Recently, I was watching a popular reality show about couples (who have been thrown into the spotlight and would now be considered celebrities) who have marital issues. Marital issues are in many marriages, and this did not catch my attention. What did catch my attention is how appalled I was at how these couples treated each other, let alone what was being shown on television. These couples were very violent towards each other, to the extent that a foot was broken.

How are these types of activities acceptable to be shown on television, to glory them? What message does this portray to the generations who may be watching? Violence such as this would not be acceptable to be shown in television ten years ago.

Aside from these remarks, what have you observed within the last year in the media (omitting news stations) shows on television? Some may argue that these types of situations are the same as crime shows and dramas. But, they are very different in the sense that this is real life.

Crime shows and dramas are purposely made to be dramatic and do not affect real people. They do not affect people’s livelihood and way of living. They are purely for entertainment use. That being said, it is not okay for those types of portrayals to get more violent and not expect to affect viewers. A reaction is imminent, and will be negative. 

Part two of this blog will not necessarily cover the media but instead how celebrities affect the portrayal of violence. This is either by what they say, do or what they put out by their celebrity status (examples include photos and music). 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Domestic Violence Charges in Utah

What are the specific domestic violence charges that are in place in Utah? What are the laws that are specific to Utah? What are the effects of a domestic violence related conviction? 

Quoting directly from Schatz and Anderson and Associates: 

Under Utah law there is no such criminal offense entitled “Domestic Violence,” but many crimes can be considered a crime of “Domestic Violence,” pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 77-36-1, if the offender and the victim have a relationship included in the definition of cohabitant as set forth in Utah Code Ann. § 78B-7-102. These relationships include husband and wife, ex-husband or ex-wife, common law husband and wife, roommates, individuals who have a child together, or individuals related by blood or marriage. The most common criminal charges that are classified as “Domestic Violence” crimes include:
                -Criminal Mischief
                -Protective Order Violations
                -Telephone Harassment
                -Interruption of a Communication Device 

Effects of a Domestic Violence–Related Conviction

There is also no such thing in Utah as getting out of a domestic violence charge just because the alleged victim “drops the charges.” The prosecutor’s office may still choose to prosecute the crime even if the alleged victim no longer wants to press a complaint. If you are convicted or enter into a plea in abeyance agreement for a charge of a Domestic Violence–related crime, you face several potentially severe collateral consequences. 

First, anyone convicted of a crime of Domestic Violence loses the legal right to possess either a gun or ammunition of any kind, including hunting rifles and shotguns…There is also a public stigma attached to Domestic Violence crimes, and a conviction could interfere with your ability to obtain employment. Any crime classified as a Domestic Violence– related crime carries certain minimum mandatory penalties, such as completion of at least 16 hours of Domestic Violence counseling. A conviction for Domestic Violence can also be used against you as a basis for obtaining a protective order or in a divorce proceeding if the parties are having a custody dispute. 

This quote goes through what exactly will happen if convicted of this crime. Do not be one of those convicted of this crime and lose penalties for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Utah Specific Statistics

Utah’s domestic violence statistics are very high compared to other states. Utah is famous for its natural landscape, friendliness and strict alcohol laws. Are these statistics then a surprise? Is this shocking or not? Quoting directly from Attorneys at Law, Phillips and Skidmore, here are Utah’s numbers on domestic violence:
Today, there are approximately 1,905 domestic violence shelters dispersed across the United States, in 2013 87 percent of these shelters participated in the National Census of Domestic Violence Services. This Census survey compiled national and statewide statistics.
Out of the 17 shelters in Utah, all 17 participated in the survey. The survey uncovered that on a single day in the state of Utah

            -614 victims came to emergency shelters
            -234 victims received non-shelter support
            -190 victims called support hotlines 

If these numbers seem low, keep in mind that Utah has a population of about 2,855,000 people. Arkansas is slightly ahead, with a population of roughly 2,949,000 people. Yet Arkansas’ results in the same survey:

            -333 victims came to emergency shelters
            -181 victims received non-shelter support
            -150 victims called support hotlines

While Arkansas is roughly identical to Utah in size – in fact it’s a little larger – only half as many people in Arkansas had to seek out shelters as those in Utah. 

Over the past five years, the number of victims who are housed in private shelters has shot up by 41 percent. In 2008, 76,767 Utahans spent the night in shelters. By 2012, that number had risen to 108,377. 

You might expect such bloated figures from a densely packed state like California or New 
York, but sparsely populated Utah? Utah, which only ranks #35 for population by state? 

There is no one reason researchers can find as to why these numbers so high. Awareness is the first step in getting these numbers lower in the year(s) to come.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Marriage Statistics

The difference between domestic violence and normal conflict in a relationship is that conflict is part of every intimate relationship. It eventually cannot be avoided, but it is normal. Domestic violence, however, does not belong in healthy relationships. It is not normal for one partner to be abusive towards the other partner or family.

Here are some facts on domestic violence and marriages, according to and the Huffington Post: 

-“Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands or male lovers. One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds.” (this equates to about 1.3 million women)

-The number of women throughout the United States who report intimate partner abuse is one in four. 

-Estimated number of children worldwide who are exposed to domestic violence every day: 10 million

-Intimate partner violence makes up 20 percent of all nonfatal violent crime experienced by women. 

-The number of men who report intimate violence is one in seven.

-The percentage of women who report being strangled by a spouse in the past year: 33 to 47.3 (this abuse often does not leave physical signs, so the numbers are harder to come across)

-The average number of times an abuser hits a spouse before a police report is filed is 35. 

No one deserves to be in this type of relationship. A relationship is meant to be a place of happiness and solitude, and one should not feel threatened by their intimate partner. If you are in this type of situation, do not forget that it is never too late to get out and find true happiness.