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Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Domestic Violence , Hollywood and a Harrisburg Divorce attorney

By Attorney Nichole A. Collins, Family Law Division Leader

Harrisburg Divorce Lawyer, Nichole A. Collins, talks about the Mel Gibson domestic violence case as a classic example of what happens in private from publicly looking responsible people who engage in domestic violence.

BITTER CUSTODY FIGHT, IS THIS AN EXCUSE?

Gibson, 54, and Grigorieva, 40, are now locked in a bitter custody dispute and the superstar facing domestic abuse allegations and the fallout from leaked audiotapes in which Gibson berates and threatens Grigorieva during profane rants.

DEATH THREAT

On a recording released  07/12/2010, Mel Gibson allegedly threatens to "bury" the mother of his child. Although just one listen and it's clear the actor's digging his own grave.

WAS MOM SHAKING THE BABY?

Both sides agree they argued in January but differ on what exactly transpired. Grigorieva claims Gibson punched her in the face "more than once," breaking a tooth and knocking out a veneer. Another Gibson source says the actor only "tried to stop [Oskana] from shaking their baby like a ragdoll" during the altercation.

ANOTHER HOLLYWOOD IDOL IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, MEL IS NOT ALONE.

Charlie Sheen is likewise engaged in a bitter custody dispute and divorce with his ex, Brooke Mueller.  The sometimes outrageously-acting star has been threatening in the past.

IT'S A PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR

Domestic violence,said Harrisburg Divorce Attorney Nichole A. Collins, is a pattern of behavior in which one intimate partner uses physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation or emotional, sexual or economic abuse to control the other partner in the relationship.

PERSONAL CHOICE, HABIT?

Domestic violence occurs when one household member chooses to use a pattern of physical assaults, threats of violence, and emotional abuse to maintain power and control over another. All 50 states have statutes authorizing courts to issue orders of protection to domestic violence victims.

WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, at http://www.ncadv.org. In addition to physical violence, abusers may use many forms of control against their partners, including economic, emotional and mental abuse.

IS PFA AN OPTION?

In Pennsylvania, a victim of domestic violence may obtain a Protection From Abuse order (PFA) to enjoin abusive behavior. PFA's may enjoin specific actions, such as threatening, abusing, stalking, harassing, annoying, attacking, beating, molesting, or wounding the petitioner. In addition, they may prohibit entering specific premises, usually including the petitioner's home and place of employment. They may also prohibit the removal of minor children from the legal custodian, purchasing or possessing a firearm, and any other act that interferes with the petitioner's personal liberty or that causes a reasonable apprehension of violence.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS WIDESPREAD

Domestic violence is an epidemic. One out of nearly every three women will be the victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. Between three and ten million
children are exposed to domestic violence every year and that exposure has a negative impact on their development.

HOLLYWOOD KEEPS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE QUIET

When it comes to Mel Gibson, who seems to have offended everyone possible with his racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and outright terrorist rants in the tapes that have been "leaked" to the world over the past week, Hollywood seems to be keeping its usually highly-opinionated mouth closed.

On the other hand, Charlie Sheen, cannot seem to stay out of the limelight.  He basks in it like a snake on a warm summer's day.  He should seek shade back under his rock.  Nonetheless, Hollywood seems to be willing to protect its own.

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