Explosion of Domestic Violence Arrests in Fairfax County

Fairfax County, Virginia – According to a recent survey released by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services' Criminal Justice Research Center, Fairfax County has the highest rate of domestic violence arrests in Virginia.

The study - Domestic Violence in Virginia 2006 – 2010 reports that domestic violence arrests in Northern Virginia rose by nearly 70 percent between the years 2006 and 2010, and the arrests were most prominent in Fairfax County, which increased by 306 percent between 2006 and 2010.

Under Virginia's domestic violence law, when law enforcement officers respond to a domestic violence call, they are required to arrest whoever is the predominant physical aggressor, unless there is a special circumstance that would indicate another course of action over an arrest.

For the county's 2012 fiscal year, the Fairfax County Police reports there were 1,796 domestic violence arrests between July of 2011 and June of 2012.

In the 2010 National Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence Survey, one in three Virginia women has been either stalked, assaulted, or raped by their intimate partner. Based on those numbers, the survey estimates that nearly 177,000 women living in Fairfax County will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in their lifetime at the hands of a family member or an intimate partner. This estimation may include anything from child abuse to spousal abuse, to intimate partner violence.

In 2007, changes were implemented in local police departments due to the fact that each of Fairfax County's eight district police stations was manned with their own "domestic violence detective" whose primary responsibility was to investigate domestic-violence-related crimes in their district. Prior to leaving office last month, Fairfax County Police Chief Dave Roher said that the initiative was one of his proudest achievements.

Before domestic violence detectives were appointed at each station, domestic violence cases were centralized. Now that there are domestic violence detectives at each and every district station, patrol officers are better educated and trained on how to handle domestic violence calls in their own areas.

The Criminal Justice Research Study concludes that as of 2010, 96 percent of Virginia domestic violence arrests involve offenses such as simple assault, aggravated assault, and intimidation, which are often handled by the local juvenile and domestic relations district courts. Robert A. Bermingham, the director of court services for Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court said that domestic violence accounts for about half of all of Fairfax County's homicides. The Fairfax County Domestic Violence Coordinator Sandy Bromley said, "Despite the increase in arrests, statistically we know that less than half of victims actually contact law enforcement."

If you or someone you care about has been arrested for domestic violence in Fairfax or the surrounding areas, don't hesitate to contact attorney Vaughan C. Jones at once. If you are served a protective order, you could be forced to stay away from your spouse, your children, and your own home, otherwise face legal consequences. To find out how to go about protecting your legal rights, contact attorney Jones right away to arrange a private and confidential consultation at the firm.

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