What counts as domestic violence?

It is thought that one in three women will suffer from domestic violence at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, some of the most pervasive acts of violence occur in intimate relationships, and they can be more destructive because the victim may feel that they have no way to escape the situation that they are in.

While women tend to be most likely to suffer domestic violence, it can happen to anyone. Domestic violence is not always physical, and it does not always involve a romantic partner. The following is an overview of how domestic violence is defined under the law.

The overarching definition of domestic violence

The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women defines domestic violence of a pattern of abusive behavior in any domestic relationship that involves the use of control.

The types of domestic violence that can occur

The most obvious type of domestic violence is physical abuse. Physical abuse is never an acceptable act. Physical abuse could include pushing, slapping, pinching or forcing them to do something, for example forced alcohol consumption.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse counts as any type of nonconsensual sexual act. It is illegal to engage in any type of sexual behavior without the other person’s consent, no matter what your relationship status is.

Emotional abuse

One of the most devastating types of domestic violence is emotional abuse. Constant insults, the spreading of lies or verbal degradation count as emotional abuse, and it can severely affect a person’s self-esteem.

If you have been a victim of domestic abuse, it is important to get support. The law can protect you in many ways, and it can be possible to have a restraining order put in place.