Domestic violence takes many forms but one of the most rampant is an abuse of men against their wives or partners. And it gets even worse when the victim is in a delicate state which is pregnancy. On this article, we look at how the victim of domestic violence while pregnant is at risk and what one might face if found guilty of the crime.
The risk factors of domestic violence while pregnant
When women are pregnant, they go through changes that make them fragile: physically or mentally harming them can cause severe issues not only to them but also to the child that they are carrying.
Domestic violence while your partner is pregnant can be considered intimate partner violence (IPV). The Centers for Disease Control defines it as the “physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.”
Prime triggers of domestic violence during pregnancy are rage towards the child, towards the mother, or the perpetrator is simply an abuser and does not choose his or her victims.
Unfortunately, in Nevada, the leading cause of death among women who are in a relationship is domestic violence and it is not hard to imagine that some of these victims are pregnant women. According to a study by the Violence Policy Center, in 2018 Nevada is third in the nation with the most reported cases of women being killed by men. In the entire country, as of a study again by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most deaths of pregnant women are caused by violence from an intimate partner.
Of course, when a pregnant woman is harmed or deprived of her needs, physiological problems may arise that could lead to miscarriage or complicated childbirth.
The potential charges of domestic violence while pregnant
Naturally, domestic violence charges should be imposed on the accused once arrested. It depends on the magnitude of the offense, it can be either be a misdemeanor or a category C felony. And aside from domestic violence charges, civil charges should also apply.
If the pregnant mother dies due to domestic violence, the offense is considered a homicide. If it is the unborn child who perishes because of willful aim by the domestic violence perpetrator to cause it, it is manslaughter. This is punishable by a category B felony under the fetal laws of Nevada.
As written in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 200.210, a category B felony entails:
- One to ten years of prison time
- At least $10,000 in fines
Nevada is one of the 38 states in America that has a dedicated set of laws for feticide. Note that it does no matter if the child is still a fetus or completely developed, the court of Nevada has a reserved power to bring down manslaughter if it is rightful.
The defenses against domestic violence during pregnancy
It is not only the husband or the male partner that can be indicted for abuse during pregnancy, even female partners in a same-sex union, older children, and other family members can also be perpetrators and face charges.
While there can be different offenders, the defenses relatively remain the same. Some of the defenses that you and/or your Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can use against charges of domestic violence during pregnancy are the following:
- No hard proof of domestic violence
- It was an accident
- It was self-defense
- There was no intent to kill the baby (if it leads to feticide)
Beating, threatening, or sexually abusing your pregnant wife is a malevolent, evil act and if you are rendered guilty of it, you certainly deserve the punishment. If you, however, is someone falsely accused of the crime, know that you have every right to defend your liberty.