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The inadvertent witness to an episode of domestic violence

Many things happen over the course of the day, for which there are no witnesses. While it can be disappointing that one was unable to get the evidence of an unexpected and pleasant experience, it can be frightening to be subjected to events that leave one shaken or hurt. Many California residents who have been victims of domestic violence will understand that feeling all too well. 

One incident of domestic violence took a surprising turn, when technology inadvertently stepped in to help. A man was house sitting with his girlfriend when she received a text message that prompted him to accuse her of infidelity. He became violent with her, and at some point during the altercation, he allegedly asked the question: "Did you call the sheriff?" A voice-activated personal assistant that was connected to the home's telephone land line picked up on this phrase, interpreted it as a command and dialed 911.

The emergency services then called the woman's phone, and the man saw the caller ID, which further angered him. Thankfully, deputies arrived at the home and removed the woman and her daughter from further danger. The daughter was unharmed, and the woman received only minor injuries that did not require hospital treatment. The man is now being held by police without bail, charged with a number of serious offenses. 

While this is a highly unusual case of assistance being provided, the actions that started things off are not. California residents who live in fear of domestic violence cannot always rely on technology lending a helping hand; however, there are many other forms of help available to a person who wishes to escape from an abusive marriage. Seeking the appropriate advice at each stage can allow one to make plans that will lead to a more positive and safe future.

Source: New York Post, "Alexa calls cops on man allegedly beating his girlfriend", Joshua Rhett Miller, July 10, 2017

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