An Icelandic man was arrested in Austin, Texas last week for assaulting his Icelandic girlfriend at the Four Seasons hotel, reports Vísir.
The suspect was released on bail after paying 650.000 ISK (6.000 USD) the following day and as he was not required to stay in the country he flew back to Iceland.
In Texas, a victim of domestic violence does not need to press charges against her attacker, the police decide whether or not to press charges and Austin police confirmed they felt the situation serious enough to arrest the man on the spot.
Icelandic Police have had the same right – to charge a perpetrator of domestic violence, even if a victim withdraws charges – since 2015.
According to unnamed sources, police have regularly been called to the suspect’s home in Iceland following violent outbreaks, though none of those incidents have lead to convictions.
The suspect’s former spouse of 17 years has spoken out about the physical and mental abuse she suffered at the suspect’s hands, including an incident in a hotel room in London where he allegedly nearly strangled her to death. When hotel staff came to her aid, she acted as though everything was fine while the suspect threatened her with a fist out of view of the staff.
If you, or anyone you know are victims of domestic violence, please know that you have rights and can find help and/ free counselling at Iceland’s Women’s Shelter.
The Women’s Shelter Telephone Helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day.
Phone: 561 1205
The Women’s Shelter also has support groups with regular meetings where a few women and a professional facilitator meet to talk and support one another.