In Texas, an individual can be charged with misdemeanor or felony assault depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime. Under the Penal Code, a person can be charged with assault for intentionally or knowingly threatening another person, including a spouse, with imminent bodily injury. This means an aggressor does not necessarily have to physically touch the other person to be charged with assault.
Although most victims of domestic violence in the U.S. are women, men can be victims too. The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that 13 percent of callers to the Hotline in 2013 were male. Because men are less likely to report abuse, however, the number of male victims is almost certainly higher.
Men Less Likely to Report Abuse
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in seven American men over the age of 18 has been the victim of physical violence carried out by an intimate partner.
Unfortunately, it is not unusual for police to automatically arrest the man when responding to a domestic violence complaint. In many cases, the police arrest first and ask questions later. Sadly, this makes the man a victim of injustice not once but twice.
Know the Signs of Intimate Partner Violence
Not only are men less likely to report domestic violence – they may not even realize it is happening in the first place. The Mayo Clinic reports that intimate partner violence frequently starts small. Starting out, an abusive partner may verbally berate the other person. Eventually, verbal attacks may lead to unwelcome physical contact, such as pushing or slapping.
Over time, abusive behavior tends to escalate, developing into more serious attacks, such as:
- Controlling behavior
- Forced isolation from friends and family
- Jealous and possessive behavior
- Forced intercourse
- Slaps, hitting, punching, choking
Because men are typically socialized to see themselves as strong providers and protectors, they may not recognize they are victims of abuse. Many fear that they will be arrested and prosecuted if they dare to protect themselves from abuse. Unfortunately, some aggressors have been known to turn the tables on a male victim by claiming he committed an assault.