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Why mutually abusive domestic relationships are a myth

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Domestic Violence |

Relationship abuse between couples in Florida can take many different forms. Abuse can manifest itself in physical acts, stalking or name-calling and other methods of emotional abuse. Yet, psychologists indicate that relationships can never be mutually abusive whenever abuse occurs between two people, as one partner will always be the primary aggressor.

The inherent power dynamic in abusive relationships

Even though both partners may engage in acts of domestic violence, these types of relationships are toxic but not mutually abusive. Domestic abuse occurs when one partner follows an identified pattern of behaviors to exercise control over the other partner in an intimate relationship. Even when the other partner acts violently, those actions occur in response to the primary aggressor. From the outside, the relationship may seem mutually abusive, but in reality, the suppressed partner is fighting back in self-defense. Self-defense can also take many forms, including name-calling and physically pushing or trying to injure the other person.

Such actions that occur at the moment when the dominant partner perpetrates the abuse are toxic and can escalate the situation even further. However, when defensive actions occur outside of when no perceived threat is present, one can no longer claim self-defense.

Mutual abuse is not a form of defense

Even though you are your partner may have engaged in repeated physical acts of violence, name-calling and more, you cannot use mutual abuse as your criminal defense strategy. Even if you’re tempted to claim mutual abuse, your partner could bring psychological experts to court to dispel that myth and help prove how your partner acted in self-defense.

Domestic battery charges can produce serious consequences, especially if you have been accused more than once. You will need to construct a strategy to counter the charges.