George Zimmerman's trial has captured the attention of the nation. Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder and manslaughter and found not guilty on both charges. Since the jury's verdict was announced, many people have weighed in with their opinions regarding the not guilty verdict.
According to the news, yet another case has arisen involving the molestation of a minor over the course of many years. This time, the molester happens to be a well-known celebrity-Michael Jackson. Jackson has once again been accused of molesting a young boy, Wade Robson, for 7 years, beginning at the age of 7. Questions have been posed in regards to Jackson getting away with the molestation for years without being caught. One maid has testified that she did, however, catch Jackson and Robson showering together. The details about her involvement with the case are unknown; however her witness brings up a valuable concern that needs to be addressed.
As many of our readers have heard, through watching or reading the news, the Jodi Arias trial has our country buzzing with talk about one of the most brutal and controversial murders reported in 2013. According to news reports, Arias killed her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, by stabbing him in the abdomen and back 27 times, slitting his throat from ear to ear, and shooting him in the head. Throughout the course of the trial, psychology experts have been brought in to provide their expert opinion regarding the motives and reasoning behind Arias' bizarre actions. Among the many disturbing parts of this case include Arias' claim that she was a victim of domestic violence during her relationship with Alexander, and her murder was simply an act of self-defense. While the jury decides on the legitimacy of her claim, it is important for us to be aware of what qualifies as domestic violence, and how to leave an abusive relationship. The following describes the criteria used by Illinois law in determining domestic violence:
Chances are, if you have had access to any source of media within the last week, you have heard the disturbing story of Ariel Castro and the Cleveland kidnappings. At this point, many questions are still left unanswered, and America is once again left wondering how someone could do such horrific things to innocent individuals. As we witness one of the most shocking news stories of 2013, and rejoice in the discovery of the three young ladies, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, we must do more than simply observe and speculate. While Ariel Castro has received a great amount of media coverage, he is only one of many sick and twisted abductors who have abandoned any sense of morale and stolen the lives of young, innocent children. It is our duty as American citizens, as neighbors, as parents, and as friends to educate ourselves on how we can prevent such atrocities from happening.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice study in 2009, 3.3 million people ages 18 or older were stalked in United States during a 1-year time span. Even more shocking, 76% of abused women who are murdered by their abuser were stalked by that abuser before the murder took place. The issue of stalking is not one to take lightly. If you are a victim of stalking, you must first and foremost take measures to protect yourself by contacting the police and/or hiring an attorney. Due to January being national stalking awareness month, we encourage those who fear being victimized by a stalker to consider their options in terms of protection. Many times victims are unaware that the harassment they are experiencing can legally be defined as stalking, and is classified in the State of Illinois as a class 4 felony. For more information on what can legally be defined as "stalking," in the State of Illinois, please see the Illinois Compiled Statutes, 720 ILCS 5/12-7.3. If you are living with the threat of a stalker looming over your life, the following steps can be taken with the assistance of an attorney to ensure your safety:
You've done all that you know to do to create distance between yourself and your abuser. You've ended the relationship, you've moved out, you've done everything in your power to avoid him. Yet you can't escape him. You can't help but feel nervous every time you come home alone at night. Fortunately, when the uncertainty and the harassment become too much to bear, legal measures can be taken to protect you. With the assistance of your family lawyer, you can file a petition for an order of protection. The following describes the circumstances under which an order of protection can be obtained.