Are you facing domestic violence charges even though you are the real victim of abuse? If so, you are looking at some serious legal penalties. If prosecutors have it backward, and the violence in your relationship is directed at you, proving otherwise could be a tough job. But oftentimes, when heterosexual couples have violent relationships, men are often assumed to be the aggressor. But is that always accurate? The truth is that men do wind up on the receiving end of family violence more often than some people realize.
Spousal abuse is a crime, and if you have been wrongly accused, you should absolutely fight the charges. Otherwise, the consequences could be life-changing, including:
- Impacting your ability to secure employment;
- Destroying your right to own a gun;
- Paying substantial fines (as much as $6000 for a first offense);
- Going to jail (up to four years, depending on charges).
Bias Against Men in DV Cases
When we hear about domestic violence, women are usually thought of as the victims, which is accurate in many instances—but not always. As unlikely as it may sound, men are victims of DV, too. They often fear they will not be believed if they report it or try to get help. Unlike women, men know many people will think of them as pathetic and feeble, if not as a liar. Especially when a man is physically larger and stronger than his intimate partner, some will find it difficult to believe he is being abused. Even so, men do experience violence from domestic partners with alarming frequency, and they often cannot get the help they need because of societal bias:
- There are hundreds of studies substantiating that when relationships are violent, women are equally likely to be the aggressors. Studies reveal that roughly 40% of reports of serious violence involving former or current partners are filed by men, usually involving an attack by women.
- In spite of these facts, when police are called to intervene in a domestic dispute, they are more likely to arrest both individuals only if it involves same-sex couples. When police are called to cases involving heterosexual couples results in men being arrested.
- Women are much more successful than men in securing protective orders.
- Mock juries who witness DV scenarios are more likely to assign blame to men than to women when presented with violent scenarios, regardless of which partner is the perpetrator of that violence in the scenario.
Violence Against Men is Real
Any violence in a relationship is very serious. The Centers for Disease Control reports that between 10% and 15% of males surveyed say they have experienced serious violence at the hands of an intimate partner. What kind of violence are we talking about?
- Hair pulling;
- Punches and/or kicks;
- Being burned;
- Being slammed against a hard surface;
- Being struck with a heavy object;
- Suffocation and choking;
- Being beaten;
- Being threatened with a knife or gun.