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Help Raise Awareness About Domestic Violence in Orange County

Although it’s Halloween, we’d like to take this opportunity to talk about domestic violence again, as it’s the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence doesn’t always happen behind closed doors, and the violence can escalate to deadly levels, as we all saw this month with the Seal Beach tragedy.

It’s been called Orange County’s deadliest shooting, but what’s not being talked about so much is how it is also classified as the county’s most violent domestic and custody disputes.

Although it’s rare that a custody battle or domestic violence ends with multiple killings, but those in the know-police officers, social workers and psychologists -day that the potential is there for verbal arguments to turn into something worse, especially if there’s anger or depression involved.

In this case, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas that Scott Evans Dekraai, the man who shot nine people and killed eight in the Seal Beach salon, was motivated by anger toward his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier. They had been involved in an extended custody battle over their 8-year-old son and a custody hearing in the family law court the day before the shooting didn’t favor Dekraai. Dekraai and Fournier argued on the morning of the shooting, which could have been the incident that made Dekraai snap.

Although officers don’t show up to domestic violence calls expecting guns and shooting, they do understand that the potential is there, and two officers are always sent. That way they are not outnumbered by those involved in the incident, says Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Mike Anderson.

There have been many cases in recent years of custody disputes ending in extreme violence and death, according to the O.C. Register. In May of this year, Costa Mesa resident Robert Allan Lehmann shot his former wife and former father-in-law, Emily Ford and Russell Ford respectively, in a confrontation that authorities believe evolved from a child custody disagreement.

In December 2009, during a bitter custody dispute, Bonnie Hoult shot her daughter, Elizabeth Fontaine, and Fontaine’s two daughters, 4 and 2 years of age, in San Clemente before turning the gun on herself.

Many factors are involved in these kind of cases, and there is help for both the victims and the aggressors. We would like to remind people out there in these kind of situations of some local resources: Laura’s House, the Eli Home and AARDVARC, the Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection.

If you need help with a custody battle, restraining order or domestic violence case, please call the Law Offices of Glew & Kim immediately on 714-713-4525, or use our online form for a Free Case Analysis. We believe in equal access to justice for all.