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Sometimes those accused of domestic violence are the real victims

Wisconsin residents may be aware that the month of April has been reserved for raising awareness for sexual assault. This is important because it is something that affects many people. In fact, one in five women and one in 16 men are expected to be victims of sexual assault during their college years alone. However, many fail to see those accused of domestic violence as victims, but some of the accused are victims as well.

The key to reducing the risk of sexual assault is increasing awareness of the issue. It is important that both teens and adults understand what healthy relationships look like and make themselves aware of the signs of abusive or controlling behavior. This awareness will help them stay safe and keep others safe from sexual assault and domestic violence.

While it is true that the public needs to be more aware of the signs of sexual assault and that victims need to receive the proper care, it is also important for the public to remember that there can be less-obvious victims. In sexual assault and domestic violence cases, the focus is primarily placed on the alleged victims. However, in some cases, those accused of inappropriate acts are also victims -- victims of false allegations.

Anyone in Wisconsin who has been accused of sexual assault or domestic violence has the right to a fair trial during which time he or she can share his or her side of the story. With the social stigma involved and the potential consequences, it is crucial that an accused individual ensure his or her rights are protected throughout the entire court process. In some cases, a plea deal can be reached to reduce charges. If evidence can be brought forth that proves no criminal act occurred, it may also be possible to obtain an outright dismissal.

Source: sheboyganpress.com, "April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month", Kristine Feggestad and Amanda Farrar, March 31, 2015

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