Why Do Domestic Violence Victims Recant Their Stories?
There is one significant difference between domestic violence cases and other types of criminal cases in New Jersey. In a typical criminal case, the perpetrators and the victim are usually complete strangers. In a domestic violence case, the victim is usually related to their abuser or they both live in the same household. This relationship between abuser and victim makes things complicated when these crimes are prosecuted.
Complexity is the main issue here. When domestic violence crimes are being prosecuted, the relationship between the abuser and victim tends to change; sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst. In many instances, victims don’t want to see their spouse or partner (the abuser) get punished. When this happens, victims may stop cooperating with police or even their lawyers. This may result in victims recanting the statement they made at the time or after the incident.
When Victims Recant
After a domestic violence incident occurs in New Jersey, victims are required to make a statement about what occurred. This statement is used to charge an abuser with a crime, along with being used as evidence in a criminal case against the abuser. But sometimes, victims recant their stories.
This could happen at any time, but it typically occurs early on in the process as an attempt by the victim to have the charges dropped against the abuser.
There is no factual reason as to why this happens so much, but it does. The close relationship between the parties seems to play an enormous role though. Victims may feel intimidated or threatened, and there may be pressure from family members to change the story. There also may be financial pressure to recant a domestic violence incident. Victims who depend on their abuser’s income may fear losing access to that money, especially when children are involved.
However, there are cases where the complete opposite happens. Alleged victims might give a false statement to get back at the defendant. This is also true when child custody is on the line. So, it’s important that statements are evaluated for accuracy.
Are There Consequences for Recanting?
Recanting your statement doesn’t make the case just disappear. If there are other pieces of evidence available, the domestic violence case is likely to continue. This evidence can be a police report, pictures of injuries, statements or threats made via text or social media, medical records, and eyewitness statements.
Contact Domestic Violence Attorney Anthony Carbone
Are you a victim of domestic violence and being pressured into recanting your story against your abuser? If so, think twice. The abuse may continue and only get worse.
It’s Attorney Anthony Carbone’s duty to make sure you are never victimized by your abuser ever again. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation of your domestic violence case.