LACBA Update Back Issues - February 2015

Domestic Violence Project: Big Guys Need Help, Too

One in seven men aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.*

In December 2014, Quincy, 23 years old, walked into the LACBA Domestic Violence Project, located at Stanley Mosk Courthouse. He was a big guy, over 6’ tall and 225 pounds, and looked like a man who could take care of himself.

His 4-year-old daughter had been living with him exclusively since October, when he and the child’s mother broke up. When the ex-girlfriend left the home, she left their daughter with Quincy. She watched their daughter when he went to work, and the situation seemed amicable at first.

Just before New Year’s, the ex-girlfriend dropped their child at his home after babysitting for the evening. She believed Quincy had started seeing another woman, and she became enraged.

He put their daughter into her car seat in his car, wanting to get away from his ex-girlfriend’s anger. She pulled her car behind his and blocked him in the driveway. He locked himself in his car, but the ex began punching the windows on both sides of the car, screaming, and yelling, “I’m going to ---- you up big time if I see you with her.”

Their child was crying as the tirade continued. When a neighbor walked out of her home, Quincy took the opportunity to get his child out of the car and asked the neighbor to take her inside, which she did.

The ex ran up to Quincy and punched him about the head and neck with a closed fist. He protected himself by tucking his face into his chest and hunching his shoulders inward. Finally, he was able to call the police, thankful that his daughter was inside his neighbor’s home.

His ex had been violent before—an occasional thrown remote control or phone, a slap now and then, some angry kicking, but never an outright attack. He didn’t realize that violence oftentimes escalates.

Help arrives. The police arrived and interviewed both Quincy and his ex-girlfriend. He declined to file charges and was referred to the LACBA Domestic Violence Project, where he could seek a restraining order.

Upon arriving at the project, he received assistance from an attorney volunteer to complete a 35-page petition, including a request for temporary child custody, which he filed by noon. Before 3:30 p.m. that day, the Judicial Officer granted his order in its entirety.

For 29 years, the LACBA Domestic Violence Project has provided free legal services to those in need—even big guys who look like no one would dare to hit them.

For information about the LACBA Domestic Violence Project, contact Directing Attorney Debbie Kelly at (213) 896-6491 or by e-mail at dkelly@lacba.org.

* Center for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/consequences.html