In almost every marriage, couples fight. Even happy couples have disputes from time to time. Sometimes, though, these arguments get out of hand and turn physical. Physical abuse between husbands and wives is never acceptable in Utah. Domestic violence is serious and protections are available for those living in fear of physical or emotional abuse.
According to the Ogden, Utah Police Department, and local women’s shelters, incidents of domestic violence seem to be increasing. They say more education and further prevention methods are necessary to stop this increase. Last year, the Ogden Police Department had 32 cases of domestic violence during the month of August. This year, that number rose to 44 by month-end.
Furthermore, a local women’s shelter has reported that it has had to turn away 45 people — both adults and children — during the month of August because it had reached its capacity of 30 people. This women’s shelter also alleges that there are many more cases of abuse than police are seeing since it averages about four calls a day to its domestic abuse hotline.
In Utah, in order for police to arrest someone for domestic violence, the police need to identify who the primary aggressor was in the fight. Police do this by listening to each party’s story, examining the physical evidence, and looking for other signs of abuse. This is not a perfect science and mistakes can be made resulting in people being falsely accused of abuse. Furthermore, when the police can’t determine who the primary aggressor was, then the abuser may not be arrested at all.
It is important for people in and around Salt Lake City to understand that they have legal options after a domestic violence incident. There are ways for those who have been falsely accused to clear their name and return to normal life, and there are ways for people to protect themselves from abusers. Taking the correct legal steps is often essential in protecting people and their families.