Burlington County, NJ Law Blog

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Steely Dan Co-Founder Charged in Domestic Violence Case

How common is domestic violence?

The lead singer and co-founder of Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, was recently arrested on misdemeanor assault charges stemming from a domestic violence incident with his wife.

A New York City Police Department spokesperson reportedly said that Fagen and his wife, Libby Titus, were involved on a verbal dispute and that he grabbed her by the arm and pushed her. Ms. Titus fell into a marble window frame and bruised her arm. The singer was released without bail the morning after the incident after his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court. The judge issued an order of protection for Mr. Fagen to keep away from his wife. While it is unclear at this time how this case will be resolved, it shows that domestic violence can occur in any relationship.

What is domestic violence?

Anyone can become a victim of domestic violence, regardless of socioeconomic background, education level, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence has typically been referred to as spousal abuse, but spouses of either gender are not the only ones who can be victimized. Domestic abuse victims can be children, other family members, people who are living together and even dating partners.
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another partner. Domestic violence can occur in many ways, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, psychological abuse, threats, stalking and cyber- stalking. Common forms of abuse involve the following:

• Physical abuse includes any type of violent behavior inflicted on the victim -- hitting, biting, slapping, battering, punching, and shoving (as was the case allegedly involving the Steely Dan front man).

• Sexual abuse occurs when the abuser attempts to coerce or force, or actually coerces or forces, the victim into having sexual contact without his or her consent.

• Emotional abuse involves things like constant criticism, bullying, name-calling, injuring the victim's relationship with others, threatening, or interfering with natural freedoms.

• Psychological abuse involves intimidation by the abuser threatening to physically hurt him or herself, the victim, children, isolating the victim from loved ones, and/or prohibiting the victim from going to school or work.

What can be done about domestic violence?

If you have been the victim of domestic violence, you should call the police. There are a number of legal protections available, including obtaining a order of protection. You should also contact a qualified attorney who can help determine other legal remedies that may be available to you.

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