The police will establish if self defense was used:
- Check for perception of harm, if there was imminent danger of assault.
- Was force necessary to defend against danger?
- If no self defense, determine who was the dominant aggressor.
They will determining dominant aggressor:
- Check for history of abuse, is one person usually the aggressor?
- Who is creating fear? Who is afraid?
- What is the demeanor, size, relative strength of the parties?
- Which person deprives the other of basic rights, liberties or controls the quality of the other’s life? (where they go, what they do, who they interact with)
- Are there coercive tactics at play?
They will check for defensive injury indicators – including wounds on victim’s palms of hands, bumps on head, bite marks/scratches on perpetrators chest, arms, face, chest, or neck bruising behind victims ears.