A professional football player is due in court later this month to face charges of harassment and non-physical domestic violence against his former girlfriend. But how can it be domestic violence if the suspect never touched the victim?
In the case of Denver Broncos safety William Parks, an arrest affidavit claims the football player and a member of his family made repeated calls to the woman that were threatening in nature. The problems began, the woman said, after she went to Parks' home to collect her belongings following a break-up. Parks' brother and a teammate helped the woman load two suitcases and two trash bags full of belongings into her car. But, the football player claimed later that his ex-girlfriend took away some of his possessions as well, including football jerseys rings, his birth certificate, and his social security card.
The woman claimed, in the court affidavit, that after she moved out of the home, the harassment began. In multiple telephone calls, she claimed Parks told her “he was going to come to her house with his people' to get his things,” that he was going to get his family to “handle it,” and that “he was going to have his cousin on the next flight from Philadelphia to beat her ass.'' On one occasion, a police officer was with the woman when she received a call from Parks' brother. With the call on speaker, the officer heard the brother try to explain away Parks' earlier behavior, saying “he was just bluffing, he was trying to scare you.'' The admission, according to the police officer, left the woman “crying and shaking.''
After Parks' arrest, he was released on a $1,500 bond and a restraining order was filed against him. His attorney denies all charges. The NFL is reviewing the case and Parks could face penalties if the league concludes he violated its personal-conduct policy.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health, even though Parks is not accused of physically touching his ex-girlfriend in a violent manner, his behavior may still constitute abuse. The organization considers attempts to scare, isolate or control a victim abusive. And, psychologists believe emotional abuse can lead to chronic states of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in Washington State say that domestic violence is “a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual and psychological attacks, as well as reproductive and economic coercion.” However, Washington State judges do make a distinction between degrees of psychological attack: “Not all verbal insults between intimates are necessarily psychological battering. A verbal insult by a person who has not also been physically assaultive or threatening is not the same as a verbal attack by a person who has been violent in the past.”
Regardless of the circumstances, if you are facing charges of domestic violence or have been arrested, you deserve the best defense. Call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.
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