Issues of Domestic Violence

Chanel has been married for five years. She recently left her husband, Robert, and moved back in with her parents. Chanel wants to divorce Robert and go back to school so that she can earn a college degree. For the past month, Robert has called and texted her at least ten times per day, begging her to come home. Chanel has blocked his number, but Robert seems to get new numbers all the time. Robert often asks Chanel to go out with him, but Chanel has refused.
On one such occasion, Chanel declined his offer and told Robert that she just wanted to stay home and visit with her parents. At the last minute, Chanel changed her mind and went shopping with some friends. When she left the shopping center, she noticed Robert sitting on the hood of her car. Robert was very angry, and accused Chanel of “lying” to him about her plans. Robert grabbed Chanel and attempted to force her into his car, but was thwarted when a security guard drove up and asked him what he was doing. He released Chanel, and she was able to drive home in her own car.
Next, Robert turned up at the same restaurant when Chanel went out to lunch with some friends, and later, at the same movie theater. Both times, he approached Chanel and asked her to leave with him. Chanel declined, and left with her friends. The week after, Chanel slowed down for a yellow traffic light when Robert rear-ended her car. Chanel’s car suffered extensive damage, and although Chanel was not seriously injured, she was bruised and scared. The police interviewed her and Robert. Robert told the police that Chanel was a terrible driver, and that she had just slammed on the brakes so as to cause a collision. Fortunately, video surveillance cameras at a nearby store showed that Chanel was telling the truth, and that Robert had actually sped up and rammed Chanel’s car.
Chanel is confused and, while she is thinking of getting a restraining order against Robert, she continually tells her friends that since Robert never hit her, she does not think that Robert would really hurt her. At the same time, she concedes that she is having trouble sleeping, and she is becoming more worried about what Robert will do in the future, because he cannot seem to accept the divorce.

Assume that the police have referred Chanel to your domestic violence agency, and she has been assigned to you as a client. Chanel is confused about why she has been referred to a domestic violence agency, because she reiterates that Robert has never hit her.

What information does Chanel need to know about stalking so that she can be safe? What should she do to prepare a case against Robert if she wants to press charges? What should Chanel know about restraining orders and stalkers? What should Chanel know about how technology can be used to carry out stalking?




Sample Solution