Victims of domestic violence in Minnesota and throughout the country may feel as if they are powerless to change their situations. It is also common for friends or family members of abuse victims to feel uncertain about what they can do to help. It is important to note that domestic abuse can occur even if an individual is never physically harmed. For instance, an abuser may force a victim to have sex against his or her will or without using protection.

There are several variables that may help to predict whether a person may be harmed by an intimate partner, spouse or parent. Those who have low self-esteem may feel that they aren’t deserving of love and may cling to hope than an abuser will change his or her ways. Individuals who performed poorly in school or have a limited educational background may be more likely to have low levels of self-esteem.

In some cultures, there is a belief that one gender is superior to the other. In some cases, individuals will engage in physical, sexual or emotional abuse in an effort to prove their superiority. However, anyone who seeks to control another person may be more likely to abuse a spouse, partner or family member regardless of his or her gender.

Individuals who are charged with domestic assault may have a variety of defenses against the charge. For instance, it may be possible to claim that a person was the victim of a false allegation. It may also be possible to claim that an alleged victim consented to being hit or to other actions that may have led to physical harm. An attorney may be able to help a defendant get a criminal charge dropped or negotiate a plea deal prior to a trial.