Did I really commit domestic violence?

All couples argue from time to time. While these arguments are usually only verbal in nature, anger can cause people to react in more heated ways, and sometimes, things become tense or even violent, especially when alcohol is involved. Violence is never OK, and when one person in a domestic household exerts violence toward another person that they live with, this counts as domestic violence.

Some people, however, are accused of domestic violence even when they have never become physically violent with the person who accused them. If you are confused as to why you have been accused of domestic violence, you should first take the time to understand the different types of domestic violence other than physical violence.

Sexual abuse

No person has the right to engage in sexual activity with another if they do not have consent. Therefore, if you have coerced another into engaging in sexual activity with you, this can count as domestic violence.

Emotional abuse

Violence can be physical or emotional. If you have engaged in any form of control, manipulation or coercion, you have engaged in domestic violence. It may be that you have prevented a person you live with from seeing certain people, from going out without you or from having aspects of financial independence such as a bank account. Alternatively, you may have used abusive language to constantly belittle a person and make them feel worthless.

Economic abuse

Everyone has the right to work for an income if they choose to do so and to manage their own finances. If you have stopped a person you live with from going to work because you want to be in control of them, or if you have limited their financial independence by giving them an allowance or stopped them using money, this is also a form of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse can come in many different forms. If you have been accused of domestic violence, this does not necessarily mean that you are guilty, but it does mean that you should take action to understand the nature of the accusation and to form your defense.