December 9, 2023
The issue of domestic violence is complex, not only in Colorado but across the entire United States. Still, Colorado has created its own laws to help deal with this issue, as a way to make the state a safer place for everyone to live.
Still, domestic violence laws in and of themselves can’t fix everything. Part of the work is for people in the community to understand what is and isn’t true about domestic violence, because there are a lot of misconceptions out there.
Here is what you need to know about domestic violence in Colorado, including some of the biggest misconceptions people harbor about this crime.
How Does Colorado Define Domestic Violence?
In the state of Colorado, the crime of domestic violence is identified as a threatened act or an act of violence against a person with whom you are or have been in a personal relationship. An intimate relationship is based on a shared parental status or romantic involvement, encompassing those you are or have been married to, anyone you are currently dating or have dated, and anyone with whom you share a child.
One way that Colorado domestic violence laws differ from many other places is that it’s not considered a crime by itself. Rather, it’s an aggravating factor or sentence enhancement for another crime, such as assault, harassment, sexual assault, or menacing.
If the police respond to an altercation and suspect that domestic violence is occurring, they are legally obligated to arrest you, regardless of whether the victim wants to press charges against you – or even if they recant their statement.
Domestic Violence Misconceptions
For many people, the term domestic violence conjures various thoughts and images. Many of the preconceived ideas people think about domestic violence stem from misconceptions. However, if the veil can be lifted and domestic violence issues can be seen for what they truly are, then there is a chance things in the community can improve.
Some of the most common domestic violence misconceptions include:
Women Are the Only Domestic Violence Victims
While it is true that women are proportionally more often the victims of domestic violence, it can happen to men, as well. Despite what many believe, domestic violence can impact you, whether you’re a man or a woman, no matter your background. It happens to those who are educated, those who are not, those who live in poverty, and those who are wealthy.
Only Bad Relationships Have Domestic Violence
It’s a common misconception that domestic violence only occurs between couples who fight a lot. The truth is that not all relationships that appear bad from the outside will have domestic violence as a factor – but relationships that appear normal can lead to domestic violence.
The underlying issue with domestic violence is often that one partner needs to control the other or to be jealous of them. Anger management is another factor contributing to the issue, and anyone can be angry enough to lose control at some point.
This is why the court often orders those convicted of domestic violence to get an evaluation for treatment done to help them deal with anger and other issues that can contribute to domestic violence in a relationship.
Domestic Violence is Physical
Some of the things that can occur in a relationship with domestic violence may be physical in nature. However, legally, just making threats against another person is enough to add a domestic violence enhancement to a crime in Colorado.
Remember that, in general, domestic violence isn’t only about injuring another person physically. It’s also putting someone in fear of harm, which can cause emotional and mental anguish. Criticisms and berating words can cause as much damage as physical abuse and sexual assault. They can impact a victim both physically and mentally.
Police Calls are a Great Scare Tactic
If you are facing domestic violence or abuse issues and fear for your safety, you should always call the police. However, calling the police does have repercussions. If you threaten to call the police and they show up, remember that they don’t need the victim’s statement or permission to make an arrest. Law enforcement has a duty to make an arrest if they feel it can reduce any future harm and protect the parties involved.
If you or someone you love is facing domestic violence charges, then you need the help of an expert attorney. They can ensure that everyone’s rights are upheld and that you understand the full impact of any charges.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Countless legal organizations have recognized Mr. Martinez for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.