In 1994, Congress passed a federal law called the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), establishing that violence against women is a criminal offense to be treated as a national priority. Domestic violence is defined in Arizona as any criminal act by one family or household member against another. While not every act of domestic violence is violent, they can include any kind of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse toward a victim. Unfortunately, domestic violence in Arizona affects all races, religions, and cultures.
Domestic Violence in the United States
Over 3 million domestic violence incidents happy every year in the United States. This translates to a domestic violence incident every nine seconds. Even more shocking is that approximately 4,000 victims of domestic violence are killed each year in the United States. Statistics reveal that up to one-fourth of all domestic relationships have included some form of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Acts in Arizona
Arizona Revised Statute Title 13 – Criminal Code Statute 13-3601 addresses and criminalizes domestic violence in Arizona. According to the statute, the very long list of domestic violence acts between and among household members that can be charged in Arizona include:
- physical assault;
- threatening words or conduct;
- Intimidation in any way;
- harassment or stalking by phone and in person;
- photographing, recording, or watching another person without consent in a private place;
- threatening or causing endangerment;
- unlawful imprisonment and holding someone against their will;
- criminal trespassing;
- criminal damages;
- willfully disobeying a court order;
- child custodial interference;
- criminal acts such as negligent homicide, manslaughter, and murder;
- preventing a person from using a telephone in an emergency;
- certain crimes against children; and/or disorderly conduct.
Domestic Violence Charges
If domestic violence charges are brought against a person, the decision rests and remains solely in the hands of the Arizona district attorney and victims can have no recourse if a prosecutor fails to bring charges in a domestic violence case. On the other side, if a victim tells the prosecutor they wish to drop charges, a prosecutor will not dismiss a case if they believe domestic violence offenses occurred. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, contacting a domestic violence attorney can help you understand your rights.
Your Safety is Paramount
Above all else, seek safety if you find yourself the victim of domestic violence in Arizona. Find shelter for you, and your children as soon as possible. our safety is the most important issue in a domestic violence situation. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you may consider filing a protective order against your abuser. Arizona offers two types of restraining or protection orders — Emergency Orders of Protection and Permanent Orders of Protection. Contacting an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer can help you understand your rights, and if a protective order would help ensure your safety.
Consider Working with Arja Shah Law
Our firm’s founder, Arja Shah, is an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer and advocate for domestic violence victims, with offices in Phoenix, AZ. Clients appreciate her strong advocacy in the courtroom with a client-centered approach to service. If you have been a victim of domestic abuse, you can discuss your case with Ms. Shah at (602) 560-7408 or by filling out the law firm’s online form.