Sometimes Victims Get Arrested

As shocking as it may seem, sometimes the victim of domestic violence is the one that gets arrested.

Recently, a DV incident occurred involving a young couple with small children.  When Wife was trying to escape Husband’s attempts to physically restrain her, she elbowed him from behind and a short time later she kneed him in the stomach.  She then ran for the phone and called 911.

When the police arrived a few minutes later, Husband admitted nothing and portrayed Wife as the abuser.  Wife, on the other hand, gave a full account of what happened.  Because the common elements of the two stories were that Wife struck Husband, she was arrested and taken to jail.  The law enforcement officers, having a fairly good idea of what probably happened, tried to get Husband to drop the charges, but he was insistent and demanded that they arrest her.

In the post-O.J. Simpson era, law enforcement and even judges are reluctant to rely on their own assessment of the situation and often “err on the side of caution”.  In the above case, the likely victim of domestic violence went to jail and won’t be seeing her children for at least three weeks.      

Moral of the story: If you are the victim of domestic violence and the police come, do not admit to anything that could be considered assault, even if it was in self-defense.  Save the “complete” story for when you get to your attorney’s office to prepare your restraining order paperwork.