Women Accused of Domestic Violence
The term “domestic violence” usually brings a particular image to mind. Perhaps something similar to Paul Le Mat’s portrayal of Mickey Hughes beating his wife Francine, played by Farrah Fawcett, in the movie The Burning Bed. Even without that specific image, we tend to think of men as the perpetrators of domestic violence and women as the victims.
That isn’t always the case. It’s not uncommon for women to be abusive. It’s also not unheard of for a woman to be accused of domestic violence—even when she’s innocent. The law makes no distinction between genders when it comes to charges—or convictions—of domestic violence.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
Penalties for domestic violence vary in accordance with the severity of the offense, as well as whether there’s a history of violent and aggressive behavior.
Penalties may include
- Suspension or termination of parental rights or visitation
- Enrollment in anger management programs
- Community service
- Restraining orders
- Jail time
Additionally, resident aliens can be deported if convicted of domestic violence charges.
Gender Makes no Difference
In the eyes of the law, neither the gender of the abuser nor the gender of the victim or victims matter. Same-sex couples and other non-traditional domestic arrangements are treated no differently under the law.
If you’re a woman, don’t assume that the courts will decide in your favor. There are laws protecting the rights of victims, as well as the accused. Any leniency toward someone convicted of domestic violence will be based on past and present behavior. Gender is not taken into account, nor are demographic factors such as age or race.
You Need a Lawyer
Bottom line—if you’re accused of domestic violence, you’ll want to work with an attorney. Your lawyer will hear you out, and use his or her knowledge and experience to prepare you for any questioning or court appearances. Even—perhaps especially—if you’re innocent of the charges, having a lawyer in your corner is the best way to ensure your rights are protected.
Man, woman, or child, you have rights. Don’t give them up by not knowing what they are.