It is the law….
In Montana, the legal name for domestic violence is “partner/family member assault.” Under the Montana Code 45-5-206, this crime is defined as “purposely or knowingly causing bodily injury to a partner or family member; negligently causing bodily injury to a partner or family member with a weapon; or purposely or knowingly causing reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in a partner or family member.”
What exactly does that mean? It means that if you are being hit, and /or being threatened with harm, the person responsible is breaking the law.
It is about power and control…
Domestic violence includes patterns of behavior by one person to control another
Domestic violence is usually about power
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN BE PHYSICAL
Domestic violence can be with intimidation
Domestic violence can involve guns, knives, ropes or other objects
Domestic violence can include hitting, slapping, strangling or restraining another
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN BE SEXUAL
Domestic violence can include rape
Domestic violence can be any forced sexual activity
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN BE EMOTIONAL
Domestic violence can be verbal
Domestic violence is often filled with personal insults
Domestic violence is threatening
Domestic violence thrives on isolation
Domestic violence brings economic abuse
Domestic violence can mean keeping one from school or a job
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN BE COMMITTED BY A SPOUSE
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN BE COMMITTED BY A CURRENT PARTNER
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN BE COMMITTED BY A FAMILY MEMBER
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN BE COMMITTED BY A FORMER PARTNER
It is not one or the other….
Domestic violence covers emotional, physical, sexual, and economic abuse. It is not always just one or the other. Often an abuser will act in ways that cover more than one area of domestic violence. Sometimes the behaviors will overlap with one another.
Rape victims are likely to suffer from feelings of depression and other symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, such as nightmares and flashbacks. They are much more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol because of the rape and 4 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.
It is emotional…
Those who abuse don’t always use physical control. They can take power with words. They can also take power without saying anything. Emotional or psychological abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Abusers use it to destroy a person’s feelings of self-worth. Emotional abuse can break down one’s independence. By using these tools, an abuser causes the victim to feel that there is no way out of the relationship, or that without the abusive partner they will have nothing. Verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming a person are part of the cycle of emotional abuse. Other forms of emotional abuse include controlling behaviors, isolation, intimidation and threats of physical violence. Emotional abuse brings long term trauma and is often less recognized by friends and family when compared with physical abuse.
1 out of 6 women will be the victim of a rape or attempted rape during her lifetime. In this country, someone is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes. Someone is raped every 8 minutes.
It is physical…
Many people think of domestic violence as physical abuse. They are correct. It is one form of domestic violence. Physical abuse is the use of any physical force against another person that causes them injury or endangers them in some way. Because it can be more visual, people associate it with the phrase domestic violence. Any form of hitting, slapping, grabbing, pinching, strangling, throwing, use of a weapon or other actions that cause a physical reaction are types of physical abuse. Physical assault or battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of the family.
Between one-third and one-half of all battered women are raped by their partners at least once during their relationship.
It is sexual…
Sexual abuse is common in abusive relationships. Any situation in which someone is forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom a person also has consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence. Furthermore, women whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.
It is estimated that only 40% of sexual assaults are reported, often because of the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim.
It is economic…
Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control the other person, and he will frequently hurt his partner to do that. In addition to hurting the person emotionally and physically, an abusive partner may also hurt one’s pocketbook. Economic or financial abuse includes:
- Controlling the finances.
- Withholding money or credit cards.
- Giving an allowance.
- Making the person account for every penny they spend.
- Stealing or taking money.
- Exploiting the partner’s assets for personal gain.
- Withholding basic necessities (food, clothing, medications, shelter).
- Preventing the person working or choosing a career.
- Sabotaging a person’s job
It’s the law….
The Rights Established Under The Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004
The Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. § 3771 provides that officers and employees of the Department of Justice shall make their best efforts to see that crime victims are notified of, and accorded, the following rights:
The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
The right to full and timely restitution as provided by law.
The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.