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Domestic Violence Against Men: An Unspoken Reality

Over the past few years, actor Johnny Depp has been embroiled in domestic violence allegations. Both Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard have made domestic violence accusations towards each other. Since their divorce settlement that took place in August 2016, the two ex-spouses have fought each other in civil court, alleging domestic abuse and defamation. His ex-wife alleges that any domestic violence on her part was done in an act of self-defense. They both have evidence of physical harm done to their bodies.

Depp filed a lawsuit against Heard, alleging that she defamed him by portraying herself as a “domestic abuse victim.” Depp claims he has lost work opportunities because of the portrayal of him as a domestic abuser. Audio recordings recently surfaced in which Heard tells Depp that she was not punching him but hitting him. At one point in the audio recording, Depp says he does not want a divorce but “If things get physical, we have to separate.” Heard then tells Depp that she “can’t promise you I won’t get physical again.” Depp has submitted evidence that his fingertip became severed by shattered glass after Heard threw a wine bottle at him.

Domestic Violence Against Men is Still a Taboo Subject

As the dispute between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard shows us, domestic violence issues are often complicated. Determining who started domestic violence and who acted in self-defense can be extremely challenging. When police officers respond to a domestic violence call, they must determine who to arrest, if anyone, which is not easy to do without a thorough investigation.

One thing is certain, however; domestic violence against men is still a taboo subject. The Telegraph goes so far as to say that female violence against men is the last great taboo in our society. The Telegraph provides an example of a 42-year-old woman who murdered her husband by stabbing him with a 13-inch carving knife. Before the murder, the woman was a serial abuser of men. She is not a one-off case, either. Between 2004 and 2014, statistics show that the number of women convicted of domestic abuse against men quadrupled.

Men are Less Likely to Tell the Police About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence against men is still so taboo that very few men tell the police about domestic violence. According to the ManKind Initiative, only 10% of male victims will report domestic violence to the police. This number is less than half of the 26% of women who will report domestic violence to the police. Courts do not always punish female domestic violence abusers as harshly as men. For many men, it never occurs to them that physical abuse by their wives or girlfriend is an act of domestic violence. However it is not uncommon. Every year, over 830,000 men are victims of domestic abuse in the United States.

Our Law Firm Can Help

If you are facing domestic abuse charges in Illinois, our law firm can help. Contact Glasgow & Olsson as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.

The Link Between Alcohol and Domestic Violence in Illinois

Nearly all of us know someone who has suffered domestic violence at the hands of a husband or intimate partner. You probably know or have known a woman who has suffered a situation similar to the following example. A woman has suffered mental, verbal, or physical abuse for years or decades. Her husband has a history of drinking after work. By the sixth drink, he usually becomes violent. She hides her bruises and all other proof of domestic violence well because she does not want her children to be scared.

By all outward appearances, she is part of a successful middle-class family. In many cases, family members are shocked to learn that their loved one has suffered in silence for so many years. Arrests related to alcohol have increased in Illinois recently. Many alcohol-related arrests also involve domestic violence.

When Domestic Violence Happens, Alcohol is Often Involved

According to the World Health Organization, domestic violence and alcohol are strongly linked. Domestic Violence should never be tolerated, and alcohol use increases the severity of domestic violence and the number of domestic violence incidents. Alcohol use reduces a person’s physical and cognitive functioning. Those using alcohol do not have as much self-control as those who do not. In the United States, 55% of domestic violence victims reported that their partners had been drinking alcohol prior to the physical assault.

Alcoholism can also increase the stress on intimate partners. For example, alcoholism can make child care problems, financial problems, and other family disputes worse. More verbal fights can arise from these stressful situations which then result in more domestic violence. The vicious cycle of domestic violence and alcoholism is difficult to break. Sadly, the link between domestic violence and alcoholism can be passed down to future generations. Children who witness domestic violence are much more likely to misuse alcohol as adults.

Why is Alcohol Misused So Often?

Alcohol use is more socially acceptable than drug use and the use of other controlled substances. Alcohol has been misused more than other drugs. The social acceptance of drinking to the point of drunkenness is part of the increase in alcohol-related arrests in Illinois. Illinois police departments have reported a rise in calls regarding domestic agreements, fights, and public intoxication. The common factor in all of these calls? The misuse of alcohol.

Programs for alcohol dependence have very few, if any, open spaces for new participants. Even though between 3,000 and 4,000 people die from alcohol misuse every year in Illinois, state alcohol treatment programs are out of money. In addition to causing greater amounts of domestic violence, alcoholism costs Illinois residents $9.3 billion a year in terms of health care costs, crime, and lost work.

Our Law Firm Can Help

If you struggle from alcoholism and you are facing a domestic violence charge, you need an experienced defense attorney. At Glasgow & Olsson, we are ready to help. Contact our Cook County criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

What Happens When an Abused Wife is Accused of Domestic Violence?

Many of us have a friend or family member who has suffered abuse from a husband for years, if not decades. We are often surprised and taken aback to learn about the abuse. Many times, domestic violence does not become known until the police are called to a domestic disturbance and the husband is charged with domestic violence.

Abused Wives Who Fight Back

In the movie Enough, Jennifer Lopez plays an abused wife who has finally had enough. She decides to escape with her daughter from her abusive husband. He pursues her relentlessly. After exhausting her legal options, she decides that the only way to stop the abuse is to kill her husband. The plot of this movie is, of course, extreme. However, many women throughout the United States feel as though they cannot get out of an abusive relationship with a dangerous husband or partner.

Sometimes, abusive husbands threaten to kill themselves or their children should the wife finally leave. In other cases, the abusive spouse threatens to take away all financial resources and lie about the wife to the courts. Many mothers are terrified of losing their children in a custody battle. It is easy to see why some women decide to lash out and strike back against their long-time abusers as a last resort.

Women Who Use Violence Often Do So After Being Abused

In 2008, the University of South Carolina issued a report regarding women who assault men. It found that typically when women use violence against men, they had previously suffered abuse from those men. One woman reported that her partner beat her head with hammers and broke open her eardrum. She also had a wound from a bat and had her nose broken. She eventually fought back, yet she still faced an assault conviction.

Abused Women Often Do Not Receive Justice

Unfortunately, some courts do not admit evidence of domestic violence when women face assault charges. In some cases, the woman charged with assault fails to hire the right attorney or expert witnesses to testify. Ideally, an expert witness could testify about the mental effects of repeated acts of domestic violence on a woman. Or, the prosecutor may argue that the self-defense claim is not valid because the woman did not call the police, let the abuser into her home, or did not have a relationship with the abuser.

In one instance, a woman faced a murder trial for shooting and killing her ex-husband. She received a 25-year sentence. The judge did not allow her to submit evidence that her ex-husband had faced rape and sodomy charges after allegedly assaulting the woman until she lost consciousness. She has to use a colostomy bag from the damage caused by the sodomy. The day she killed her husband, she was in imminent fear of her life, but she shot without provocation.

We Can Help

If you are facing domestic violence charges in Illinois, hiring a skilled attorney is essential. We have experience and we can help. Contact our criminal defense lawyers at Glasgow & Olsson to schedule your initial consultation today.