5 Common False Beliefs About Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence  

Any adult or child can become a victim of domestic abuse or sexualized violence. This includes men, women, children, LGBTQ community members, church members, and people of any race or culture, or economic class. Below are some common misconceptions of the domestic abuse definition, sexual violence definition, and what constitutes crimes of those kinds in Utah.

Wrong Ideas About Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

Here are some of the most common and incorrect beliefs many people have about domestic abuse and sexual violence. If you are thinking of filing a case in family court due to domestic abuse or bringing a lawsuit due to a sex crime, the Sawtooth legal team can help you. Here is some information to help you better understand the domestic and sexual violence laws in Utah and clear up common misunderstandings of victim’s rights:

False Belief 1: You must have proof before reporting domestic abuse.

A charge of domestic abuse in Utah does not require evidence of a physical injury. So, what is domestic abuse? In this state, abuse is defined under Utah Code 78A-6-105 as intentional harm or threat of harm or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation. Under the law, just causing the victim to fear being physically injured constitutes a domestic abuse crime. So, the absence of proof of an injury is not an allowed defense against a domestic abuse charge.

False Belief 2: Legally, if you did not fight your assailant, you were not attacked.

If a person is forced to have sex or is emotionally or verbally abused or physically attacked, she or he is a victim of a crime. Whether he/she fought back or not is irrelevant. In cases of physical attack, a victim may not fight the attacker due to fear, shock, threats, or the strength or size of the perpetrator.

False Belief 3: Domestic violence is caused by anger control problems.

Domestic violence is not due to uncontrolled anger. Abusers use anger as a tool to do what they want to do to their victims. Abusers are actually in full control of themselves. We know this because they stop to answer the door or a phone call. They are often careful to punch and kick body areas where bruising is less likely. Further, they don’t abuse just anyone who angers them. They wait until no witnesses are present and abuse only a person they claim to love.

False Belief 4: Domestic Abusers and/or their victims have very low self-esteem.

Abusers do not become abusers because they’re suffering from low self-esteem. On the contrary, they are self-entitled. They believe they deserve to have power over and control of their intimate partner. Domestic abusers may pretend to have issues with low self-esteem to help them convince other people that the violent crimes they commit are not their fault.

False Belief 5: Only criminals and other dubious people abuse children.

There is no way to detect whether someone abuses children or is going to abuse a child in the future by merely looking at the person. People who abuse children are from all sorts of backgrounds and hold all levels of jobs. They very often look and act like kind and trustworthy adults just to gain easy access to children they want to victimize. An individual’s background, including his or her childhood experience, may contribute to their inclination toward child abuse.

If You’re Charged with or are a Victim of Domestic Abuse

Wasatch Defense Lawyers are the best attorneys in Utah. Whether you need a defense against charges of domestic abuse or sexual violence or you want to bring a civil case against your domestic abuser, we’re here to fight for justice on your behalf. We will provide you with a free legal review of your situation. Ask about our affordable payment arrangements if necessary.

If you’re wrongly accused of or are a victim of domestic abuse, call Wasatch Defense Attorneys at (801) 980-9965, or contact us here online for a review of your legal case.

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Craig R. Chlarson

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