Visions Anew Institute

Visions Anew Institute
Divorce is Challenging

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Defending the Survivor in Domestic Violence

Defending the Survivor in Domestic Violence

We often hear of abusers being charged with battery and other crimes but what about when the victim stands accused. Domestic violence survivors frequently find themselves in the position of being charged with crimes as well when they don’t know how to legally as well as physically protect themselves. The most common charges result when the abuser has finger nail marks on his neck, chest or hands from the woman trying to push him away or kick marks on the legs. His clothes may be torn in the struggle or weapons may have come into play. Often both parties have some injuries and both are taken to jail.

In the best case scenario, the survivor should not engage and should go to a shelter, friend or relative’s house. If she cannot leave, she should call 911. Self defense is much harder to prove in domestic violence cases because the pattern of abuse leading up to the incident has usually gone unreported and there are no witnesses. Also use caution because violent acts committed in the presence of children can lead to additional charges such as child endangerment or cruelty to children.

It is important to develop potential witnesses when you are ready to leave. All injuries should be reported to your doctor even it if you are hesitant to report the violence to the authorities. Speak with trustworthy neighbors, religious leaders or seek a consultation with an attorney. Keep a journal of threats and incidents.

If you are arrested for violence, do not attempt to explain what happened to the arresting officers. Remember your right to remain silent and wait for your attorney. Although you may be telling the truth and just being honest to clear up matters, anything you say can be misconstrued and used against you in court.

Paige N. Jennings, PC
Family Law Attorney


  1. Hello,
    My name is Kevin Moriarty. I have a question about your blog but would rather ask you through email. Could you please email me at

    I hope to hear from you soon!