When Battered Women Use Self Defense, and Go to Prison for it
A Boynton Beach, Florida woman was charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a firearm when she allegedly shot her boyfriend in the groin as self defense, according to ABC 10 Local News. The boyfriend, who received charges of aggravated battery on a pregnant person, aggravated assault with a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, had allegedly pointed the gun at his pregnant girlfriend earlier in the night when she had looked through his phone. He then began choking her, and during the struggle she got away and grabbed the gun. Her boyfriend then ran outside, then returned 10 minutes later in a car. She confronted him for returning, and as he reached for what she thought was a weapon, she shot him.
A Women Using Self Defense is Charged With Multiple Crimes in South Florida
Domestic violence is one of the most common violent crimes in the U.S. Millions of women, and men too, are subjected to physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse every year. Many of these victims have few places to turn to escape the abuse. Even when they move out or even move states, their former romantic partner will often continue to track them down and inflict fear and punishment. As a last resort, some of these victims, who are more likely to be women than men, use self defense to stop their abuser from continuing to harm them. Whether the form of self defense they use is hand combat, a knife, or a firearm, deadly self defense is a legal method of defending oneself if there is a reasonable threat of physical bodily harm by the perpetrator. Unfortunately, the women who use self defense are prosecuted all to often, punishing the victim and allowing the true criminal to get away with their domestic violence crimes, assuming the victim did not use deadly force.
Long Prison Sentences and Lack of Self Defense Rights Reveals High Level of Sexism in the Criminal Justice System
According to the Atlantic, over half of all murdered women are killed by their abusive domestic partner. But surprisingly, when romantic partners kill each other, women are given much stricter punishment. The average sentence for a man who kills his female romantic partner is two to six years in prison, while the average sentence for a woman who kills her male romantic partner is 15 years in prison. Moreover, 90 percent of women who are in prison for killing a man are physically abused by that man.
Call a West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer
Sadly, women are treated extremely poorly in the criminal justice system when it comes to using self defense against their abusive partners. If you have been charged with any type of violent crime simply because your partner threatened your life, those charges should be immediately dropped or significantly reduced. Call the West Palm Beach Skier Law Firm today at 561-820-1508 to make that happen. You should not be punished for defending yourself against a violent partner.