Like so many things related to our justice system, myths about domestic violence (DV) abound—but Wolf Law is here to set the record straight.
Domestic violence cases have far-reaching implications for all parties involved. That’s why it’s important for alleged offenders, as well as victims, to understand the nature and implications of domestic violence in Colorado.
Below, the Denver defense attorneys at Wolf Law discuss common myths and present the facts about domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Only Occurs in Heterosexual Relationships.
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False! There’s no evidence to support this statement and loads of evidence to the contrary. Several studies have found that abuse rates are roughly the same in LGBTQI+ relationships and heterosexual relationships.
Intimate partner violence within the LGBTQI+ community, however, may express itself differently. For example, “outing” or threatening to reveal a partner’s sexual orientation/gender identity is a distinct kind of violence. This, paired with previous instances of physical or psychological trauma (e.g., bullying, hate crimes, etc.), can impact if and how victims seek help.
Domestic violence doesn’t ascribe to a political party, religion, or sexual orientation/gender.
The LGBTQI+ community may experience unique forms of domestic abuse and distinct challenges when looking for help, but the abuse still exists at approximately the same rate as abuse found in heterosexual partnerships.
Just like domestic abuse in heterosexual relationships, LGBTQI+ victims need to feel safe and supported. Adding visibility to abuse that happens within this community will help reduce stigma and make space for victims to safely come forward.
There’s no such thing as Domestic Violence Against Men.
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So false! Studies estimate that 1 in 10 men have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. This myth is particularly damaging because it minimizes the experiences of thousands of male survivors and keeps victims silent.
Sadly, stereotypes of masculinity in our society make it difficult for young boys and men to come forward. They often report feeling emasculated and ashamed of the circumstances.
Social stigma, especially within the LGBTQI+ community, can also perpetuate underreporting by male victims.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, some contacts say that “…reporting abuse in a same-sex or trans-relationship will bring “shame” to their community because it will create more stereotypes, misinformation… some of them feel this is an issue that should be dealt with only behind closed doors.”
In the same way we need visibility on intimate partner violence within the LGBTQI+ community, publicly dismantling problematic concepts of masculinity will help create safer spaces for men to report abuse.
Victims Often Provoke Their Abusers.
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Victims who antagonize or provoke their abusers are no more common in domestic violence than in any other crime.
Research has shown intimate partner violence is not caused by things like provocation, poverty, communication problems, stress, or even drugs and alcohol.
For example, lots of people endure stressful situations and never experience or commit violence.
Domestic violence is not an isolated, individual event but rather a pattern of repeated behaviors. These assaults occur in different forms, including physical, sexual, psychological, and economic.
While physical assaults might occur infrequently, other parts of the pattern can occur daily. All tactics of the pattern interact and have profound effects on the victims.
Violent relationships often demonstrate complex dynamics that are unique to the couple and situation. Victims, as well as alleged abusers, can ensure these complex dynamics are more deeply understood by hiring an experienced defense lawyer. Should you or someone you care about face domestic violence charges, legal representation is the best way to seek a desired outcome.
A Domestic Violence Conviction Is No Big Deal.
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We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: there are no “take-backs” when it comes to domestic violence, and what you don’t know about domestic violence charges can, in fact, hurt you.
If police are called to a home and they suspect domestic violence occurred, the police MUST make an arrest (i.e., someone is going to jail, and in some cases, the offender may be there for several days).
The court will also initiate a mandatory restraining order to prevent contact between the two parties. Other protective orders may also be issued depending on the circumstances.
Along with jail time and possible probation, a domestic violence conviction can also affect parental rights, citizenship status, employment opportunities, the ability to obtain a loan or own a gun.
To put it bluntly, domestic violence charges should be taken very seriously. Hiring an experienced defense attorney with real experience handling domestic abuse cases is the best way to navigate the circumstances.
Wolf Law is your primary resource for Colorado domestic abuse information and legal representation. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you need Wolf Law.
Call Wolf Law at 720-479-8574 for a free, confidential consultation with a Denver domestic violence lawyer or contact us online.