Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Police Report May Do You No Good

grungy stop sign and police tape

When Can a Police Report Hurt You?

I learned something from the Department of Social Services (DSS) and wanted to share what they told me. I was really surprised how my honesty in the police report could come back to haunt me.

Before this day, I never wondered if I should or shouldn’t file a police report. One time you may not want to file is if you physically assault your abuser first. A slap or push is assault.

But better than worrying about when to file a police report is learning to control your emotions so your abuser can’t. If you restrain yourself from doing something wrong in the first place, then there will be no need to worry about who hit who first.

At least, you’ll know the truth even if the court doesn’t see it your way. Keeping your integrity intact will help you feel stronger and raise your self-esteem.

Video Transcript

One night, during a financial discussion, he called the credit card company. While speaking to the representative, called me a cunt right in front of the kids.

When I asked him, “What did you call me?” He put down the phone and said, “I called you what you are.” And I slapped him.

I felt bad immediately for doing it, and he said, “DO YOU THINK THAT YOU CAN HURT ME?”

I turned away to remove myself from the area. I obviously needed a time-out; I shouldn’t have slapped him. When I reached the living room, I felt him grab my shoulder and spin me around to face him, while at the same time pushing me backward. I fell over the end table to the couch. He held me down firmly by my throat and chest. The ferocity in his face and the ugliness of his words signaled to me to stay put, don’t move, don’t struggle. Take it.

It shocked me. Nothing like that had happened in years.

The next day, I filed a police report because I thought that was what I should do.

However, after talking to my Department of Social Services counselor, she told me to only make reports when I do not initiate physical violence. A slap is physically violent.

I shouldn’t have slapped him; I was violent first. I shouldn’t have reported it because he could have said I started the argument and he acted in self-defense.

Also, I returned home the next day around 10 AM but did not take the kids to school. My DSS counselor said that he could file a report with child protective services saying I neglected the needs of the children. She said the logic would be that if it was safe enough for us to go home, then I should have maintained the boys’ routine and sent them to school. [She also said that because I didn’t go to the hospital for injuries, his attorney could say I was not hurt and he acted in self-defense.]

So, because I reported this incident, he could have pressed charges for domestic violence and at least tried to keep me from seeing our children through protective services.

Let me remind you that if your abuser acts violently, then you are well within your rights to defend yourself no matter who started the physical assault. Just remember that domestic violence is usually “he said, she said”. In my experience at least, “he said” is given more credibility by the law and courts.

Slapping him was a first for me. It didn’t feel good or right when I did it, and I do not feel justified in doing it. The next day when I told him I was sorry for slapping him, he said, “Yeah. That was stupid.” No apology from him at all.