Friday, October 15, 2010

DV: A Minor Charge With Major Punishment

In the court of law, domestic violence is considered a misdemeanor. While it is the equivalent of assault and battery (actually, it is assault and battery amongst couples), there is no felony conviction. That doesn't mean the assaulter gets off scott free! They still are held accountable for their actions in ways that can affect their standard of living...and their life.

When a person pleads guilty/is found guilty of domestic violence several punishments may be issued. Depending on their criminal history, even if they don't have one, they can still do jail time and have heavy fines imposed upon them. The DV charges go on their criminal record and can affect their ability to carry firearms; even your employment may be affected depending on the requirements of your job.

In the case of divorce/separation, a DV charge can affect your ability to see your children, gain custody, or set foot on your residence/property. If there's a history of DV on record, it makes the situation worse. The person assaulted may also be granted a restraining order which can cover them and their children if any are involved.

Being a survivor of domestic violence, I don't think this punishment is enough. When I filed charges, all my assaulter got was 24 hours in jail (only because he had to wait to sign out on his own recognizance), and probation for a year. That was it! Personally, I think it should be considered a felony; either second or third degree. Something more serious than a misdemeanor! I guess in due time there will be changes, but only if we stand together and say enough is enough!

DV is not okay! If you or someone you know is stuck in a domestic violence situation please seek help IMMEDIATELY! Tomorrow may be too late! Visit or call (800) 799-SAFE (7233). You don't have to put up with DV. Take a stand for yourself and get out...TODAY!