It used to be that the idea of a “battered man” was played for laughs – often with a skillet to the head. It might have once been acceptable for a woman to haul off and slap or punch her husband if she thought he deserved it.
That’s no longer the case – and rightfully so. Today, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors take partner violence seriously, whether the alleged victim is a man or a woman.
Attitudes toward male victims have changed
While there are fewer resources available for men who are the victims of violence at their spouse’s or partners’ hands than there are for women, they are increasing. Men are being encouraged not to be embarrassed to report abuse, as they traditionally have been.
Abuse of a partner can be emotional, verbal or physical. However, law enforcement has an obligation to get involved when someone accuses another individual of threatening or perpetrating physical violence.
In male-female relationships, women are generally the smaller ones in the couple. However, that doesn’t prevent them from hitting, kicking, biting or throwing things at a man or destroying their property. They can also commit violence with a knife, gun or other weapon. Partners in same-sex relationships may be more aligned in size if a fight becomes physical.
Law enforcement’s obligations when dealing with alleged domestic violence
When the police arrive on the scene, Connecticut’s Dominant Aggressor Law gives them the discretion to arrest the person who “poses the most serious ongoing threat in a situation involving the suspected commission of a family violence crime.” Before that law’s enactment two years ago, they were required to make “dual arrests” of the alleged perpetrator and victim.
Marital and other intimate relationships are complex, and sometimes those complexities spill over into aggressive and even dangerous behavior. Don’t assume that everything will get sorted out on its own. A domestic violence-related charge can follow you for the rest of your life, whether you’re a man or woman. It’s wise to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights, present your side of the story and work to mitigate the consequences.