Even though a guilty verdict has been returned in the killing of Travis Alexander (formerly of Riverside, CA), many of us wonder about Jodi Arias’s (formerly of Salinas, CA) claims of self-defense against Alexander. Arias still maintains, for example, that Alexander was abusive toward her, causing, in the end, his own death at her hand – by multiple stab wounds, a gunshot to the head, and a slit throat. So convincing was the defendant, however, that while awaiting verdict, Arias sold t-shirts online that read, “Survivor” in order to raise money for domestic violence awareness.
CA Penal Code §273.5 (Corporeal Injury to a Spouse or Inhabitant) and Penal Code §243(e)(1) (Domestic Battery) are meant to be protective. Even a first offender accused of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge will be jailed for a minimum of 30 days and the charge will remain permanently on their record, making it difficult to gain lawful employment or to get a state license for certain professions.
The Jodi Arias case should serve as a wake-up call for those who wish to use charges of domestic violence to gain an edge over their spouse or significant other or to harm their reputation. While it is true that all cases of domestic violence should be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated, it is nothing less than an affront to the women and men who have suffered at the hands of persons they trusted for someone like Arias to attempt to cover up her own crime with an emotional, and untrue, accusation of violence against the man she eventually murdered. False allegations of domestic violence (CA Penal Code §182(2)) are made in the state of California on a daily basis – some out of jealousy, some out of anger. What is clear is that these kinds of malicious charges make a mockery of true victims of domestic violence.