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What laws are there for domestic violence against men?

Philadelphia, PA |

My son (23 yrs old) was brutally attacked by his girlfriend. he left the scene for his own safety, when she was chasing him with a hammer, and he called the police. when the police arrived they took her statement, then called my son for a statement. They said he had to come to the station. When he arrived he was arrested. Officers did not take a statement from him, he was told he was not allowed to press charges. He was charged with simple and aggravated assault, unlawful restraint. The detective said she did have a few marks on her but nothing like my sons injuries. Not one officer nor the judge that set bail even tried to hear his side of the story. A court date has been set. What are his options? With 90% of domestic violence being against women, I feel he will not get his due.

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Attorney answers 3


I understand your concerns. As to the fact that he was not given an opportunity to give a statement, that may in fact not be as bad as it seems. Many factors will be involved as to the ultimate outcome of your son's case, but depending on circumstances, your son's case has the potential for a resolution in his favor. It is important that your son is competently represented as early as possible in this process. The criminal justice system has many pitfalls that must be avoided.

Christopher J Basner

Christopher J Basner


Selective prosecution may be a defense to your case. An experienced and aggressive defense attorney could greatly help you!


Sorry your son has to face these charges, but it is not unusual for the police to take side of the person who remains on scene and is present when the police arrive. Also when police arrive on the scene of alleged domestic violence they will usually arrest the person who does not have visible injuries.

I do however, agree with my colleague, your son need not give any statements to anyone other than his attorney. At this point since he has already been charged it is most important to begin to prepare his defense. So long as your son's injuries are recorded in someway or on some documents he should have a viable defense. If you have any questions or need more information you can contact me at


Domestic violence laws in Pennsylvania are gender neutral. Women are often perpetrators of domestic violence. You state that your son was brutally attacked by his girlfriend. He should document his injuries by taking photographs and obtaining medical treatment. You say that the detective acknowledged your son's injuries as worse than his girlfriend's. Is this stated in any police report? Your son should immediately file a PFA against his girlfriend. A PFA is a civil restraining order that would prevent the girlfriend from having any contact with your son for as long as three years. Violating any provision of a PFA could get her arrested for up to six months. Your son can file the PFA for free and would be entitled to a free attorney. As for the criminal case, your son needs a criminal defense attorney with experience handling domestic violence cases. At your son's upcoming preliminary hearing, your attorney will have an opportunity to cross-examine the police officers -- including the detective you mentioned. Lastly, if your son has evidence of being brutally attacked, he should file his own complaint with police and seek to press criminal charges against the girlfriend.



Thanks for the comment. Nowhere in the police report does it state his injuries are worse, but there are pics of both of them - her with a few scratches and him with a bruised, bloody, swollen eye and cheek. I spoke with 1 detective who kinda laughed when he was telling me that my son looked a lot worse then her. When I went to pick him up after paying his bail, I had the honor of talking to 3 other detectives - who clearly took her side even though it was obvious she was the attacker. The main reason was that he left the scene - but he left before HE called the police to report this incident because she was chasing him with a hammer. He was tricked into coming to the station to "write a report" and then was arrested without being able to explain his side. You stated the laws are gender neutral but the officers I spoke with clearly did not see it that way. As a matter of fact, after my son left the scene he took pics of himself and texted them to her. I was told the officer on the scene at the time saw these pics and told her to press charges before he did. The officers told my son that he could not press charges or get a restraining order against her, because she already did that and everything would be settled in court. Again the officers only took her statement so the police report shows the entire incident as him being the aggressor and her defending herself. That's what I am most concerned about that this is the only official document filed in this incident and once in court it will look like this is all made up after the fact

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