October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month across the nation. For many, the assumption is that women are the only ones who suffer the consequences of harmful acts. However, the reality is that male victims of domestic violence do exist.
Part of the problem is society’s perception. If you do a quick internet search, you’ll find lots of women’s group offering advice. One issue is that many people associate domestic violence with physical abuse. And, after all, how could the “weaker sex” hurt a man?
Truth be told, the fallacy begins right there. In the first place, New Jersey considers nineteen separate acts as domestic violence. It doesn’t take a whole lot of muscle to put a tracker on someone’s phone or car, or otherwise stalk them. And, yes, stalking can be a predicate act of domestic violence.
At its worst, domestic violence includes murder. In California, a woman currently stands trial for murdering her ex-husband. She claims she did so to keep her son safe.
While they were not yet married, a Jersey shore woman faces charges for fatally stabbing her fiancé in an argument. Had he survived, the victim would have been entitled to protection as a victim of domestic abuse.
In some cases, men are reluctant to bring domestic violence charges because they fear the tables could turn on them. In others, it just appears easier to walk away from the situation.
However, just how easy is it? You hear of safe houses for women. Yet, male victims have little access to similar types of shelters. Instead, they often return to live with their parents or longtime buddies.
What Should Male Victims of Domestic Violence Do?
Experienced family law attorneys traditionally only deal with domestic violence cases with respect to divorce matters. If you’ve decided to end your marriage and domestic violence fits into the equation, you’ll want to consult with a lawyer.
That said, concerns of physical abuse of any type should be reported to the police. If you know there are firearms in your home, you’ll want to make sure the authorities know about them. You’ll want to ensure the situation doesn’t escalate into a deadly conflict.
Once again, it’s not just about physical violence. If you are separated and your wife breaks into your home, she could be guilty of criminal trespass. If she burglarizes your house, your wife could be charged with burglary. While you may recognize both as criminal acts, they may also be acts of domestic violence.
By the same token, harassment and cyber harassment both could count as a reason to obtain a restraining order. While it might be difficult to hold your temper and react, you should ask a family law attorney the proper way of looking at the matter.
Will you be granted a restraining order? Quite possibly. However, that will depend on a variety of factors. For example, charging your ex with harassment is often the most difficult. This is true for both men and women.
Under New Jersey law, there is a theory of domestic contretemps. Basically, some everyday squabbles fall under this heading. However, there’s a difference between what constitutes harassment as to marital disagreements.
You should also be prepared to supply your attorney with information about prior acts of domestic violence. Likewise, you’ll need to demonstrate that you are in fear of the domestic violence continuing and affecting your life.
Some male victims are reluctant to come forward and admit their spouse is subjecting them to domestic violence. The Law Offices of Sam Stoia can help you through process. If you have children, you may find that they are also in bad places as a result of what they see at home. We are here to help. Give us a call to schedule an appointment.