As October comes to an end, so does National Domestic Awareness Month. Earlier, you may recall reading that male victims of domestic violence exist. When a woman is a domestic violence abuser, it might appear to be an anomaly. However, a recent news story brings the issue more to the forefront. Notably, female abusers don’t just hurt their husbands or boyfriends.
The headlines tell the tale of an Essex County college student who recently took his own life. No question that suicide is not listed as a predicate act of domestic violence. However, the fact that the decedent’s girlfriend faces charges for involuntary manslaughter adds to the issue.
Truth be told, the series of events leading to the young man taking his own life all happened in Boston. It’s unknown what types of laws are in place in Massachusetts regarding domestic violence. However, the circumstances more than suggest that the decedent was a victim of abuse.
In New Jersey, either partner in a dating relationship meets the criteria for protection under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. Quite simply, you don’t have to be married to be a domestic violence victim.
Meanwhile, you may wonder how in the world a suicide could constitute domestic violence? According to media accounts, the decedent’s girlfriend sent him more than 47,000 text messages in the last two months of their relationship.
Clear Pattern of Domestic Violence
The story of the demise and sad ending to the young man from Cedar Grove also made national headlines. Apparently, some of the text messages encouraged the young man to take his own life. The couple’s relationship spanned over an 18-month period. Authorities termed the girlfriend as “physically, verbally and psychologically abusive.”
Apparently, the girlfriend was physically present when the decedent jumped from a parking structure just before he was scheduled to graduate from a prestigious Ivy League school.
If the story sounds familiar, it’s with good cause. In 2014, law enforcement authorities charged another young woman with texting her boyfriend, encouraging him to commit suicide. Subsequently, the court convicted the girlfriend of involuntary manslaughter.
When a woman is a domestic violence abuser, it sometimes appears shocking. After all, society seems to hold women out as the “softer sex.”
Male victims face their own dilemmas when seeking out help. After all, in the grand scheme of things, there’s still a stigma attached to men reporting their abusers.
Female Domestic Violence Abuse Against Other Women
One more thing. Same-sex relationships are not exempt from abusive behavior. When a woman is a domestic violence abuser against a female victim, the same protections are available.
In 2013, the CDC put together the results of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. According to the report, lesbian women reported levels of intimate partner violence equal to or higher than those of heterosexuals.
One number that stands out from the report details the percentage of lesbian women who reported female perpetrators of intimate partner violence. You might or might not be surprised that two-thirds of the women involved with other women fell into this category.
Meanwhile, the lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner was 43.8%. While there’s no way of separating the numbers as far as male or female abusers, 61.1% of bisexual women reported the same findings.
In the meantime, another set of women take on the role of domestic violence abusers. A mother, a daughter, or a sister all hold the same potential.
Once again, it’s critical to remember that domestic violence isn’t necessarily all about physical acts. Without question, words can hurt badly enough that victims of either sex could need a restraining order.
The bottom line is that if you are a domestic violence victim – or accused of domestic violence, you really need experienced legal advice. At the Law Offices of Sam Stoia, we help clients on both sides obtain the results that will help them move forward. We don’t charge for our initial consultation. Call us to see how we can assist you.