Domestic violence has been in the news recently after Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced he is hosting an anti-domestic violence rally tomorrow.
It’s part of a wider campaign that is targeting men, according to the Dallas Morning News. Rawlings expects 10,000 men to join him at City Hall on March 23, the newspaper reported.
Those supporting the rally include former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and current Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr. NFL Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith recently tweeted that he plans to attend the rally.
According to the Texas Council on Family Violence there were 196,713 incidents of family violence in the state in 2009. Women are the victims in the majority of cases. In that year 111 women were killed by their intimate partner, 12,213 adults received shelter from their abusive relationships and 15,905 children received shelter.
In 2002, the Texas Council on Family Violence conducted a statewide polling on prevalence and attitudes on domestic violence which revealed 74 percent of all Texans have experienced some form of domestic violence or know a family member who has.
Domestic violence can entail a range of offenses. Many of the cases we see are assaults or aggravated assaults.
A simple assault is essentially defined as intentionally causing “offensive contact” with someone else. Where no bodily injury is alleged to have occurred, simple assault cases are classified as Class C misdemeanors.
A Class A misdemeanor assault means an assault where a bodily injury allegedly occurs. It may be nothing more than a scratch or a bruise. The misdemeanor charges are filed in the criminal county courts and usually involve the hiring of an attorney. Often a conviction will lead to probation.
Domestic situations can often lead to aggravated assault allegations in which the defendant is alleged to either have exhibited a “deadly weapon” or caused serious bodily injury during the assault. These are serious charges that can lead to 2-20 years imprisonment. If the victim is a police officer, the penalty range rises to 5-99 years of imprisonment, rather than a second degree offense.
Sexual assaults such as rapes are another common occurrence in abusive domestic relationships.
When couples are in an abusive situation passions run high and there can be many gray areas as well as false claims. That’s why it’s important to hire a competent attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will hire a skillful private investigator to interview the complainant and all witnesses.