Domestic violence is an issue that many Nevadans unfortunately have to deal with. Each month law enforcement agencies have to submit a domestic violence report. The reports have the days and times in which the offenses occurred. We also can see the age, race and sex of the offenders and victims of the domestic violence incident. In 2017 there were 10,684 male victims of domestic violence in the state (35% of the total amount of victims) while there were 20,432 female victims of domestic violence (65% of the total amount of victims). As we can see women are more likely to be the victims of domestic violence but it is a crime that occurs to both men and women.
What exactly is domestic violence? NRS 33.018 defines “acts that constitute domestic violence.” 1. Domestic violence occurs when a person commits one of the following acts against or upon the person’s spouse of former spouse, any other person to whom the person is related by blood or marriage, any other person with whom the person is or was actually residing, any other person with whom the person has had or is having a dating relationship, any other person with whom the person has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons, the person’s minor child or any other person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the person’s minor child:
(a) A battery.
(b) An assault.
(c) Compelling the other person by force or threat of force to perform an act from which the other person has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which the other person has the right to perform.
(d) A sexual assault
(e) A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other person. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to:
v. Destruction of private property.
vi. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
vii. Injuring or killing an animal.
(f) A false imprisonment.
(g) Unlawful entry of the other person’s residence, or forcible entry against the other person’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other person from the entry.
2. As used in this section, “dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement. The term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary association between persons in a business or social context.
What are some signs of domestic violence? The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) has some potential warning signs. Anyone can be an abuser. There is nothing that will predict with 100% certainty that someone will or will not commit domestic violence. The following are some potential warning signs of domestic violence:
What Traits Do Abusers Have in Common?
There is no one typical, detectable personality of an abuser. However, they do often display common characteristics.
· An abuser often denies the existence or minimizes the seriousness of the violence and its effect on the victim and other family members.
· An abuser objectifies the victim and often sees them as their property or sexual objects.
· An abuser has low self-esteem and feels powerless and ineffective in the world. He or she may appear successful, but internally, they feel inadequate.
· An abuser externalizes the causes of their behavior. They blame their violence on circumstances such as stress, their partner's behavior, a "bad day," on alcohol, drugs, or other factors.
· An abuser may be pleasant and charming between periods of violence and is often seen as a "nice person" to others outside the relationship.
What Are the "Warning Signs" of an Abuser?
Red flags and warning signs of an abuser include but are not limited to:
A bad temper
Cruelty to animals
Extremely controlling behavior
Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships
Forced sex or disregard of their partner's unwillingness to have sex
Sabotage of birth control methods or refusal to honor agreed upon methods
Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens
Sabotage or obstruction of the victim's ability to work or attend school
Controls all the finances
Abuse of other family members, children or pets
Accusations of the victim flirting with others or having an affair
Control of what the victim wears and how they act
Demeaning the victim either privately or publicly
Embarrassment or humiliation of the victim in front of others
Harassment of the victim at work
If you believe that you or someone you know is in a dangerous situation the following are resources that are available for everyone to use. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 and is a 24/7 service. You can also visit domesticshelters.org to locate shelters that are in your area. The Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence has more resources for people to use and also has links to shelters across the state. Self-defense classes are available to people all across the state. If self-defense is something that you are interested in then you can do an online search to see where you can take self-defense classes.
Being the victim of domestic violence is nothing to be ashamed of and is not the fault of the victim. Getting out of a relationship with someone with domestic violence is difficult. We hope that victims feel that they can use resources when needed. With 31,116 victims of domestic violence in the state of Nevada in 2017 we hope that the number of victims will decrease in 2018 and in years to come.