A Look into Domestic Violence Investigations
Domestic violence is one of the top cases responded by police officers that is often the most dreaded. This is because a domestic violence instance is usually complicated as it can ensue physical threat towards everyone involved and ultimately because it strikes a chord. Police officers often find themselves reeling from the fact that violence occurs in a place we call home.
In Nevada, domestic violence is in a staggering rate – almost 60,000 reports are made every year. The state frequently makes it on the annual Top 10 list of States with highest rates of deaths due to domestic violence. This is clearly a problem and Las Vegas police officers and domestic violence attorneys are usually loaded with these cases.
Types of domestic violence
To fully identify suspected cases and to determine what actions must be taken, it is important to know that domestic violence comes in many forms.
The most common type of domestic violence wherein a physical act of abuse occurs against the victim, physical abuse usually involves hitting, kicking, choking, or any use of force against the human body. Even forcing drugs and starving the victim are considered as physical abuse. Remember that the magnitude of physical abuse does not matter, it is still domestic violence.
It is an emotional abuse if the assailant uses criticism, humiliation, or any form of degradation to attack the victim. Such kind of abuse usually is associated with any other types of domestic violence. However, it is more complicated to press charges against a person based on emotional abuse, unless it has been proven to happen frequently and it is immensely palpable.
Rape, or any form of sexual practices without the victim’s consent, is considered as sexual abuse. Even unwanted touching on sensitive body parts and pressuring one not to use contraceptives belong to this category.
The use of threats, intimidation, or any fear inducing tactics are some factors of a psychological abuse. The aggressor usually makes sure that the victim is afraid of him/her so that every command he/she gives will be followed even out of the victim’s will. Other forms of psychological abuse are stalking, cyber bullying, and blackmailing.
Withholding money and refusing a victim to work for their own are some types of financial abuse. Here, the victim becomes dependent on the assailant, allowing themselves to be completely controlled.
It is stereotypical for a woman to be the victim in a domestic violence, while the man is the aggressor; however, any member in the family can be a victim: children, the elderly and even the men. The assailants can also vary, regardless of the gender.
Steps to conviction
Most of the time, when the police force is called for a domestic violence situation, many abused victims (even when they were the ones who reported) are hesitant about filing a charge against the perpetrator. This happens because of their fear of embarrassing their families.
The responsibility of the police usually ends when the victim refuses to settle a case; however, they are still capable of arresting on behalf of the state.
For a standard police investigation, here is the procedure:
Taking evidence and accounts
Evidences like photographs are essential as they preserve the current state of the victims or his/her environment during the time of the report. Part of this process is acquiring emails, text messages, voice recordings, or any other items present at the time that could be usable for investigation.
The next part involves finding and taking accounts of witnesses, the victim/s and the perpetrator/s. It is imperative to take testimonies at the time of the report as accounts can be fresh and raw, with a high chance for a perpetrator to fail in constructing a congruent story and admit to the abuse all together.
Protective order and arrest
What follows is an arrest and the filing of an emergency protective order which is a restraining order effective immediately. However, this is only short-lived so it should be used to file a longer restraining order.
While this happens, the police on the case will take time to list other viable charges against the assailant. It will further strengthen the chances of persecution. A police officer should be hasty when it comes to submitting the reports so advance investigations can be made before evidence or other aspects of the case are gone. When submitted, a prosecutor takes the case by the wings and court trials shall commence.
Knowing about the basics of a domestic violence investigation will help you become vigilant about potential cases around you. If you, or someone you know, are facing a domestic violence case, get in touch with a Las Vegas domestic violence attorney now. Get the aid you are looking for!