Exploring Domestic Violence Patterns

Posted on by New Mexico Criminal Law Offices

domestic violenceMost importantly, the pattern repeats itself and continues until the abuser is stopped. Because of the cycle, victims often stay in the relationship assuming things will get better.

Understanding the Three Patterns and Phases of Domestic Violence Cases in Albuquerque

Most domestic violence cases seen in Albuquerque criminal courts have followed the distinct three-phase pattern of abuse: tension, acute battery, and the honeymoon phase.

Tension Building

Tension builds in any relationship, but not everyone is equipped to manage tension with ease. Whether it is parenting styles, money, or other issues, tension builds between the couple and often verbal abuse is the first step. The victim will try to please their abuser and do what they can to avoid further verbal or possible physical abuse.

Eventually, the abuser reaches a tension boiling point.

Acute Battery

Once the tension period spikes, the physical acts begin. Realize that emotional abuse may continue through this phase too. The abuser’s emotional state is often what triggers the acute battery phase. The start of this second phase is highly unpredictable and can take minutes to weeks to occur.

Shame and Honeymoon

After the physical altercation, the abuser feels ashamed. They will express remorse, minimize their abusive behavior (including verbal or emotional abuse), be loving, or even blame the entire act on the victim.

The abuser may then show helpfulness, generosity, and make apologies throughout the honeymoon phase. This convinces the victim that the relationship is fine and that the abuse will not happen again.

The Cycle Repeats Itself

Sadly, after the honeymoon phase, the tension slowly starts to build up again. This is when the vicious cycle repeats itself. The abuse is often frightening and terrible, but victims keep hope that the honeymoon phase will continue.

Abusive Behaviors and Warning Signs

Abuse is the abuser’s choice. They are not forced into physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Domestic violence is a loss of control over one’s behavior, and abusers may use tactics to control their victims. Family members, friends, and victims themselves can look out for these indicators that a person has abusive tendencies or is abusing a loved one:

  • Dominating – An abuser wants to feel in charge and in control. They will make decisions for the victim and the rest of the family and expect victims to follow and obey.
  • Humiliating – The abuser wants the victim to feel that they are to blame, embarrassed, and ashamed. They will humiliate them into feeling worthless so that they assume they have nowhere better to go.
  • Isolating – Isolating the victim is a big part of the abuser’s domination. They will increase the victim’s dependency on them so that they do not leave, despite the abuse.
  • Threatening – A victim is continuously in fear of further physical violence, which forces them to obey the abuser’s domination requests. Threats can include harm to the victim, their children, or even pets.
  • Intimidating – To make a victim feel threatened, abusers will intimidate them using tactics that scare them into submission. This includes threats, smashing things in front of the victim, destroying personal property, harming children or pets, and putting weapons out on display.
  • Blaming and Denying – Abusers are very good at making the victim blame themselves for the abuse. They will deny the acts, blame the physical violence on the victim, say they had a bad day, and minimize their fault.

New Mexico Domestic Violence Laws Are Serious

Domestic violence is a severe problem in the United States but also are false claims of domestic violence. Law enforcement and even the public are on edge about abuse, which makes it more common for a person to find themselves facing false accusations from a misunderstanding.

Because of statutes in place to protect victims, law enforcement must arrest a person accused of domestic violence and that person could face severe penalties based solely on a person’s word.

Violent acts or the threat of violence among household members are a threat. Therefore, the state has domestic violence laws that are under the Crimes Against Household Members Act. It is illegal to assault or batter a family member or household member, and these members extend beyond spouses to include everything from parents to parents-in-law, grandparents, and so forth.

In New Mexico, you could be arrested and charged with domestic violence for attempting to commit battery or committing battery against a household member. Therefore, the threat of violence is enough to be arrested and charged.

The Penalties of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is typically charged as a petty misdemeanor unless physical violence witnessed or there was the use of a deadly weapon. If weapons are used, then the penalties are enhanced to a fourth-degree felony.

Not only will you face imprisonment and fines, but you will be required to complete the domestic violence offender treatment program. Also, protective orders can be filed against you that prevent you from seeing your children or entering your own home – even if you pay for that home.

Speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney Regarding Your Domestic Violence Accusation

Even if you know the accusations are false or there is a misunderstanding, do not risk the rest of your life on a potential felony conviction for domestic violence. Contact an attorney from New Mexico Criminal Law Offices immediately to discuss your case and protect your rights.

Schedule a free consultation now at 505-375-4763 or request more information online.