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Domestic violence and its financial impact

Domestic violence is perhaps no less common in Massachusetts than other states. There are instances where one partner accuses the other of domestic assault. However, there are far more instances when these allegations are true. This may make it difficult, though not impossible to prove the accused partner’s innocence, particularly if that partner is a man. Why is this?

Over the past few years, the #MeToo movement spread from Hollywood to D.C. and took down a lot of executives, celebrities and politicians along the way. While not always, in most of these instances, the accused person was a man. In fact, CNN reports that every day, at least three women die at the hands of husbands and boyfriends. Add children, friends, innocent bystanders, a new partner or law enforcement officers to the numbers and the death toll of domestic abuse climbs even higher.

Know the signs of elderly abuse

When people become older in Massachusetts, they may need to rely on others to take care of them. Sometimes, their caretakers are family members, while other times there are strangers appointed as their legal guardians. Even when elders are not assaulted at home, they are often attacked while out in public. This spring, CNN reported that there was a 75.4% increase in nonfatal assaults of men over 60 years old between 2007 and 2016. For women in the same category, assault had also increased by 35.4%.

While being attacked on the streets is traumatizing, facing routine abuse at home may be even worse. According to WebMD, there are several different types of abuse that the elderly may face. Here some signs associated with each type that family members should look out for.

Can police really draw your blood at a traffic stop?

Driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DWI/OUI) is something that the majority of drivers never have to deal with. For those that find themselves at a police checkpoint and under the scrutiny of a police officer, it is helpful to know what is legal and what they can legally do and what they cannot.


The dangerous link between prescription and heroin addictions

Many people think of Massachusetts, and New England in general, as an oversized suburb. Because of this, residents are often surprised to find that the opioid crisis has reached into the Bay State. Many people assume that these drug addicts are criminals with long rap sheets and poor morals, but these drugs often came from the least likely sources.

In fact, according to Business Insider, it is prescription drugs that brought heroin into the suburbs. Medical groups are considered responsible for pushing pain killers as a treatment option onto doctors who then passed that on to patients. Clinics that prescribed legal opioids then began to appear all across the nation around this time. The end result was that in the 1990s and 2000s, doctors prescribed opioids for almost all types of pain.

Underage DUIs can hurt your wallet

Most teenagers in Massachusetts do not have their own car insurance. Instead, they get the lowest possible rates from bundling with their parents. In these instances, mom and dad are usually the ones who pay the bill as well. Because of this, when teenagers get DUIs, it is parents who first get stuck with the higher payments, but it may continue to affect that person’s ability to get car insurance for years to come.

According to Forbes, teenagers today are more aware of the dangers of drunk driving. Unfortunately, this does not always translate into safe behavior. Teenagers often feel pressured to experiment with alcohol and then may drive home to meet curfew. Sometimes the risk of driving drunk, in their minds, is less than the risk of telling their parents they were out drinking.

What adds to the severity of credit card theft?

Making purchases online is very convenient thanks to the use of online credit card payments that do not require the use of your physical card. All you have to do is enter your card numbers to complete a purchase that will be shipped to your Massachusetts address. However, the increased use of online credit card purchases also allows for greater opportunities for malicious parties to steal your credit card information.

According to Nerdwallet, how stolen credit card use is punished depends on different variables relating to the crime. There is a major difference between using a credit card that is not yours by accident and possessing criminal intent to steal and use another person’s card. Sometimes a person that uses a family member’s card unintentionally may work out the problem with the card holder without involving the law.

When juveniles end up in adult court for crimes committed

Vandalism is widely considered the most common crime committed by juveniles in Massachusetts. According to FindLaw, vandalism occurs when someone unlawfully changes, defaces or destroys property. Graffiti, keying cars, slashing tires and breaking windows are just some of the many unlawful activities that fall under this heading. In these instances, unless the property destroyed is of priceless or historical value, people tend to agree that juvenile courts are best to try these cases.

When the charge is violent crimes, such as rape or murder, the lines are more blurred. The New York Times points out that juvenile defendants rarely get tried as adults. However, exceptions may be made in instances where the crime was violent, horrific or expertly planned out. The NY Times references one case where a teenager shot both her parents with a rifle and attempted to pin the crime on a home intruder as one such example.

Opioid-related crashes an increasing concern

The United States is in the grips of a full-fledged opioid epidemic. Opioid overdoses killed 47,600 people in 2017. That’s a 250 percent increase from 2007, and that number is on the rise. The epidemic has hit Massachusetts particularly hard, with opioid-related deaths in the state towering above the national average.

But opioids don’t only kill those who abuse them, drivers impaired by opioids are a danger on our roadways.

Bullying is a public health concern

As the most populous state in the New England region, Massachusetts’ culture is strongly influenced by human interactions. Unfortunately, not all of these interactions are pleasant or fruitful. From kindergarten to college to the workplace to online media and even at home, bullying is a serious problem. In fact, CNN believes it is now a public health concern all across America.

Suicide is one of the most heartbreaking results from bullying, but it is not the only effect. In fact, there are many other mental health problems that may or may not result in this final act. These include depression, anxiety and substance abuse. For people who are bullied as kids or teens, this may even follow them into adulthood.

Mobile phones are a gold mind for fraud

Whether the owners of the mobile phones are the perpetrators or the victims, smart phones are becoming more and more involved in crimes at alarming rates. Theft by fraud is one of the main ways smart phones become involved in criminal activities in Massachusetts. Forbes estimates that 65% of fraudulent transactions in America now take place via cell phones. Phishing is one of the main threats affecting mobile phone users at this time.

Virtual assistants may also put consumers at risk. As more people trust Google Home and Alexa with their payment details, that data now becomes accessible online to the person with the skills to find it. After all, not all home networks are properly encrypted to keep intruders out, and company-wide data breeches seem to happen all the time.

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