|Katherine:||Hello everyone, and thank you so much for joining us today on This Needs to be Said. We’re going to have someone, one of our friends come and talk with us about Family Law Matters. We’ve talked about getting a divorce, and how to handle yourself before. We’re going to go into that a little bit further, and our friend today that’s going to share with us also has done some work with domestic violence victims. That definitely intrigued me about today’s interview. The more I interview attorney’s, the more we are seeing how much they do care, and they’re not out to take our money, or do anything bad to us. Each time they come on our platform to talk about what they do, and what matters most to them, it’s to give you some insight that you’re talking with a human, just like you are. And, they understand where you are, and how to help you get out of that. Today I want to welcome our friend Scottie Leming, to This Needs to be said. Welcome, and how are you?|
|Scottie Leming||Hello, how are you doing? I am fine. This is Scottie Leming with Family Law Matters.|
|Katherine:||Thank you so much for stopping by This Needs to be Said. As I was reading over your information and preparing for our time together, I noticed that you’ve done some work with victims of domestic violence before joining the practice there. Could you tell me a little bit about that?|
|Scottie Leming||Yes. I have actually done about 11 years of work with primarily victims of domestic violence here in Riverside County. It’s actually how I got contacted with Family Law Matters. They saw the work that I was doing, and wanted to also bring me in here to help with domestic violence. I have a real passion for it. Unfortunately, here in Southern California as in other places throughout the United States, there is more and more domestic violence taking place. In fact, I think one of the statistics is, almost 95% of all reported abuse of partnerships are between spouses, or ex-spouses.|
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|Katherine:||So is that your area of practice there?|
|Scottie Leming||I do, do quite a bit of that here, because I do, like I said, have a passion for it. But, I also take care of all other type of family law issues. Of course, domestic violence also is joined in with child custody issues, visitation, are survivors and victims’ needing support, needing to become independent on their own, and separate from their abusers.|
|Katherine:||Wow. When you’re saying that it makes me wonder how do you support someone, if they’re someone who’s listening to our interview and they are in California, and they need help, like they are in a domestic violence situation and they need to separate from the spouse. I’m pulling this from the top of my head right now. What is their first step? I mean, are they calling you? If so, what’s that number? What do they do? I’ve heard not necessarily in law practice, but if someone is in a domestic situation with their plans to escape, but in this … They’re now involving an attorney, and I just wonder how that works. What do they do?|
|Scottie Leming||Right. Well, of course I mean, they can contact us here at Family Law Matters at 951-587-0505, and we’ll be more than happy to talk to them, and discuss what their circumstances are, and what kind of options are in front of them. But, we’re also very blessed here, in at least the Riverside County, and I know San Diego County, and Orange County also. We have what are called, “Family justice centers.” Those are multi partnership centers supported by our district attorney’s, and our sheriffs. Within those facilities, we have victims, we have alternative victims for domestic violence, ADD. We have a safe at home program, we have victim witness advocates.
And, it is a one stop location for victims of domestic violence, to come in, to get counseling, to get support. They prepare restraining orders. If there’s criminal matters pending, they can assist with relocation assistance. Verizon actually gives out cellphones for safety purposes. There’s emergency shelters, housing, and food. It really is a fantastic center that has been put on in Riverside County. We have two here. One is located in Murrieta. That one’s at 30045 Technology Drive, Suite 101. Their phone number is 951-304-5680. The other one is located up in Riverside on Orange Street at 3900 Orange Street in Riverside. Their direct line is 951-955-6100.
I would recommend that anybody who even feels like they might be in an abusive relationship, that they’re being controlled, that they’re being cut off from support, their families, financially. Reach out to either us, or these justice centers. That’s exactly the type of people that we’re here to help.
|Katherine:||I am amazed at how much support is there. Definitely, with … This interview is going to be recorded. You can go back and listen to it over and over, rewind it to get the information that Scottie has shared with us today. Now, as far as someone coming to work with you Scottie, they’re picking up the phone to call you. What are those things that they’re calling you specifically for? And, how do they prepare for that first call or consultation with you?|
|Scottie Leming||Well, in all family law issues, and especially domestic violence issues. Sometimes the victim, I like to call them survivors because they’ve made it through, and they’re interested in protecting themselves, and protecting their children. Sometimes that’s what a parent needs. A parent needs to go ahead and focus on what’s going to be best for their children. They come in to see us, and we discuss what has been happening in the relationship, happening in the family unit. Many times they’re feeling anger, or fearful. A lot of times they even feel guilty because they’ve returned over and over to the relationship, either because they want to try and do the best for their children, they don’t want to dissolve the family unit. Or, because the perpetrator has them controlled, and convinced that things will be different next time around.
It’s just opening up the conversation, we do have certain scripts where people can start to actually recognize themselves in the domestic violence circle. Which, for people who aren’t familiar with it, is on the website. It can be Googled. Basically, the studies that have been done on it show that there is that relationship, and there starts to be control, and then there’s some anger, and there’s some aggression. Then there might be an incident, followed again by the honeymoon phase. It’s just this circle that keeps perpetuating it. Once someone is strong enough to step outside, and speak to someone who’s involved with the domestic violence symptoms, and can give them some support, it’s amazing how they can break free, and become independent, and find a really good safe place for them and their children.
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|Katherine:||Not that I want anybody to ever experience this, but every time I speak with someone from your practice, I feel more and more comfortable with attorney’s, and having to reach out just to have things structured, to help me to get back on my feet. Whenever I’ve talked with any of you all, the passion that you have for what you do is in the conversation, it’s effortless. If there is someone who’s listening to this interview, and you find that this is your situation, we have people for you to contact. I don’t want anyone to ever have to go through this, but the reality of it is, is that there are people out here who need help.
Now, I’m going to ask this question anyway and you can let me know if this is a question that you can answer or not.
|Katherine:||But, if there is someone that I know that is in what I would perceive to be a domestic violence situation, is there something that I can do?|
|Scottie Leming||Well, of course. I mean, first of all just supporting them, and letting them know that you’re there for them, and that you can talk with them, you could go with them to speak with somebody. Sometimes you can even do a little investigation for them. Like I had mentioned earlier, which is the domestic violence wheel. Someone who’s in the situation, when they see it on paper, or see it face to face, and they can mark the boxes or say, “Yes, this has happened. Yes, this has happened. Yes, this has happened.” They start to realize that they are in an abusive relationship, and an unhealthy one. Many times people feel that it has to be physical. But, that’s not what the courts require to find an abusive relationship, and to protect the person with a restraining order.
Basically, it’s what we call, “Disturbing the peace,” of another person. In this day and age, that can be done electronically, it can be done through social media, there can be all types of threats. All that’s required is what we call a, “Credible threat.” Which, can be verbal or written communication. We see those more and more now in court, with texts. It’s just made with the intent to place that person with a reasonable fear. The courts are very supportive of that. We’ve really all done here in the legal profession, and in the courts, done our due diligence, and done our homework. We have more and more types of training to do. Especially here at Family Law Matters, I personally would be more than happy to speak with anybody, and give them just some counsel and advice regarding where they could go for further support, if they need therapy, if they need shelter, if they need help. They can go to our website at www.TemeculaDivorce.com. We have two office locations. We have one here in Temecula, and then we have a new one that we just opened up in Corona.
We are here for people. I cannot emphasize enough that this is why after doing 11 years of domestic violence, I decided to come to Family Law Matters. Because, the attorney’s here, the office staff, they really do care. They know that this is the toughest time of someone’s life. They feel that it’s their mission to help those people through it. I’m very aware of the thoughts that some people have about attorney’s.
|Scottie Leming||But, I’m a grandmother, I’m a mother, and I care, and I want to be able to help people.|
|Katherine:||If you could feel my smile coming across the radio waves, I’m speech … Like I said, and I meant this sincerely. Each one of you that I have talked with from the practice, have expressed some personal passion for helping people, and help people feel comfortable with where they need to get the help. We avoid the experts at all costs, and until we can’t do anything else. You all have come repeatedly to say, “Hey, we’re here, we care, and we’re human. We understand this is hard, let us help you during this time.”
Scottie, it was a pleasure having you on today to talk with the This Needs to be Said audience. You’ve already given the contact information. Before I could even ask for it, you were on top of that. I’m looking forward to learning that you all are continuing to help more and more people, and I look forward to having another time to share with you. Until then, you all have a wonderful day.
|Scottie Leming||Thank you so much, you too.|
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