This is not US-specific, I'm in Europe, but more general for all Western legal systems.

I just read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_against_men and something struck me - intention is completely deciding when judging an act but it seems to be overlooked in the specific case of domestic violence.

Two examples:

  1. If you are standing on a bus that brakes heavily causing you to fall on someone and everything is so unfortunate that that person breaks an arm you will most likely not be charged with a crime. On the other hand, if you abuse someone so badly that they break an arm it is a serious crime. The intention is what matters, not the actual result.

  2. There have been cases where the police has exchanged the gun of someone planning to commit a murderer to a dummy gun. The murderer has still been convicted for attempted murderer because as far as he knew, the gun was real and he pulled the trigger with the intention to kill the target. Again, what matters is intention, not the actual result.

Apply this principle to domestic violence. There are research (more sources are welcome, please comment if you know of anything relevant) that indicates that women as perpetrators are more or less as common as men. However, an average man can quite easily fend of an average woman in a "fair" "fist fight" or wrestling match (in fact, non-excessive fending off might injure the woman more than the man is injured in the actual attack).

My question are:

  1. Are there any (famous) examples of women being convicted for domestic violence against men that "failed"? That is, somehow the court found out that the woman's intention was to injure the man badly, but he managed to overcome her, escape etc without suffering any serious injuries but she was still convicted for her intentions.

  2. Has the reasoning above about intention ever been used in a criminal case concerning domestic violence?

  • 1
    "Intention to commit domestic violence" is not a crime. "Attempt to commit domestic violence" would be a crime, but very hard to prove.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 10, 2021 at 12:00
  • @gnasher729 Potato potatoe. If you think the gun is loaded and you fire it at someone.
    – d-b
    Commented Jul 10, 2021 at 18:30
  • 1
    If I attempted to hire a hitman who later turned out to be an undercover cop, I'd be charged with "conspiracy to commit murder". If I got a gun I thought was loaded and pulled the trigger but it wasn't, it would be attempted murder...
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jul 10, 2021 at 22:38


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