An In-Depth Look at Battery Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is defined as violence within a certain household relationship. It is one of the most reeling types of crime faced by the police and domestic violence attorneys because the victims are not strangers or friends with the perpetrators, but they are related by blood or wedlock.
When talking about domestic violence, one can often imagine that it is a physical crime. However, domestic violence extends to different degrees. Aside from physical violence, other forms of domestic violence include emotional, sexual, psychological, and financial abuses.
Nonetheless, physical domestic violence is as fatal as the rest as it involves body pain, emotional trauma, health hazard, and risk of death. The other term for physical force in domestic violence is battery. This is the unlawful use of physical assault to family and relatives such as punching, slapping, hitting, choking, kicking, biting, burning, poisoning, and other physical harm without the victim’s consent.
Nevada, like most states, considers battery domestic violence as a crime and it can fall under misdemeanor. However, it can escalate as a felony when strangulation or choking is involved as this can greatly harm the victim and is a clear sign that the abuser is willing to perpetrate killing.
Battery domestic violence statistics
In Nevada’s 2015 Annual State Report, 71% of the callers of The National Domestic Violence hotline reported that they are experiencing physical abuse.
According to the comprehensive research from Everytown, an anti-gun violence organization, estimated that 65% of women in Nevada are likely to get shot by their partners during a domestic violence struggle.
Although there is a lower number of battery cases where the victims are men, it still exists and should not be taken lightly. Commonly, cases of battery violence to men happen when the partner is stronger, younger, and more financially stable.
Battery is not only exclusive to couples. This can also happen between children and parents, between siblings, and even extended family members. There is an abundant number of cases where battery led to homicide of a kin. In 2015 alone, the Las Vegas police encountered 33 homicides related to domestic violence.
These information show that domestic violence, especially battery, is rampant in the state of Nevada, which consistently ranks in the Top 10 States with the highest death rate relating to domestic violence.
Battery domestic violence, which leads to potential death, can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, race, and current status so we must be vigilant about it.
Causes and implications of battery domestic violence
There are two scenarios where a battery domestic violence often starts: first is between two people in a verbal bout that eventually leads to physical violence, and the second is when the abuser commits physical violence even when the victim is not doing anything to provoke the attack.
There is psychology to everything and it is essential to know what goes through the mind of an abuser to fully realize what a battery domestic violence is.
First, it should be clear that anyone can be a perpetrator, thus increasing its unpredictability. However there are obvious behaviors and characteristics you can observe to know if someone is an abuser:
- Gets angry at the smallest things
- Criticizes the family member
- Denying being a perpetrator of domestic violence
- Jealous with them, usually accuses partner of being unfaithful
- Does not let family member see friends and other relatives, or does not let them engage in activities
- Controlling and threatening
- Blaming other people (usually the victim) for his violent tendencies
- Insecure and emotionally dependent
- Tends to rely on alcohol and drugs
Often, when we see severe cases of battery domestic violence, we ask “Why did they do it?” Most of the time it is a rhetorical question but there is actually a definite answer to this. Here are some reasons which will give you insights why perpetrators abuse:
They have control issues
One primary reason of abusers who engage in physical violence is that they cannot contain themselves. There are people who cannot tolerate being snapped at without avenging themselves. When they hit, they will feel a sense of control and dominance. This is akin to bullies feeling superior to their victims after taunting or hurting them.
Another reason is anger issues – when anger is not managed and is ignored, it can blow up a person, resulting to heated emotions manifesting as physical rage.
Most abusers have a high regard for themselves, especially when they feel entitled due to their familial rank and financial status. When their pride is stepped on, they become defensive, resorting to the only act which they know that will solidify their influence: battery.
They have a disorder
This is not uncommon to abusers. Most of them have personality disorders, are unable to feel empathy, and do not understand boundaries. An abuser with a disorder can hurt their victims even without a concrete reason.
It is easy to dismiss perpetrators as unhinged people but we should also understand that a number of them abuse because they were also abused. Subconsciously, they are doing what was done to them by other people. Abused perpetrators are often hiding their fear and trauma behind a ferocious facade.
Anyone can also be a battery domestic violence victim. Here are signs that show someone is a victim of domestic violence, especially battery:
- Has low self esteem
- Bruises or beat marks
- Uncertain of their identity
- Depressed and powerless
- Holds on to the belief that he or she can change the abuser
- Believes that he or she deserves domestic violence
Frequent victims of battery domestic violence often suffer from Battered Woman Syndrome which poses great hazards to the mental and physical health of the victim.
There is also a deep psychology why victims would let themselves be mistreated by their abusers. They know what is happening to them, but most endure and stay due to many complicated manners such as:
- They are afraid of their personal safety.
- They fear that other people will be involved.
- They do not want their abusers to be incriminated.
- They lack support.
- They rely on their abusers financially.
- They are blinded by their love for their abusers.
- They are afraid of losing custody of their children.
- They are bounded by cultural or religious complications
- They lack knowledge about domestic violence.
However, one must understand that domestic violence, especially battery, is a complex matter that varies from case to case.
Battery domestic violence and the Nevada law
A qualifying factor of battery domestic violence is when an assailant performs a physical act that harms the victim. It is still classified as battery even when the victim is touched indirectly like grabbed by the collar forcefully. It will be rightly categorized as battery domestic violence if the people involved have a familial relationship prior to the event.
When a battery domestic violence is reported by the victim or by concerned people, the police will usually do background check or surveillance. If the situation is life or death, the police force usually arrests the perpetrator immediately.
Furthermore, during trials, the defendant and the prosecutor will use certain evidences such as photographs, video and audio recordings, documents, and witness testimonies against the accused.
Penalties and charges
The sentences for battery domestic violence vary depending on the magnitude and elements of the crime. Here are the penalties and charges depending on the type of offense:
A first offense without the use of strangulation, use of weapons, and severe injuries entails the following:
- 2 days to 6 months in jail
- Almost 120 hours of community service
- Fine of $200 – $1,000
- Weekly classes about domestic violence (a 26-week program)
A second offense within 7 years has heavier penalties:
- Almost 6 months in jail
- Fine of $500 to $1,000
- 100 to 200 hours of community service
- 12 months of weekly domestic violence classes
A third offense in 7 years is already considered as a felony and includes:
- 1 to 5 years of imprisonment
- A fine of almost $10,000
Offense with weapons and major injuries
A battery assault that used a weapon even without a major injury is considered as felony and has the following penalties:
- 2 to 10 years imprisonment
- Fine of $10,000
It is also felony if the victim suffered from severe injuries even without weapons. The penalties are:
- 1 to 5 years in jail
- Fine of $10,000
Offense with strangulation
This is a category C felony with charges of:
- 1 to 5 years imprisonment
- Fine of $15,000
If you believe that you are wrongly accused of battery domestic violence, there are available defenses you can use to counter the charges against you. The following defenses are:
- Accuser fabricated stories and injuries
For more defenses against battery domestic violence case, seek the help of a domestic violence attorney like Attorney Ross Goodman from Las Vegas, Nevada!