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What is considered domestic violence?

Domestic violence charges can be serious for families and individuals. Because domestic violence impacts individuals, families, communities and society as a whole, the family law system provides resources to help. As a result, those dealing with domestic violence in one form or another should be aware of what is includes and what is considered domestic violence.

Domestic violence includes many behaviors in addition to physical violence which is commonly thought of when referring to domestic violence. Domestic violence can include:

  • Physical violence such as hitting, slapping, punching, pushing, shoving, pinching and any other type of family violence;
  • Psychological abuse such as the use of fear, intimidation or threats;
  • Emotional abuse such as abuse targeted and self-esteem or self-worth;
  • Sexual abuse such as coerced sexual contact or sexual contact without consent, including marital rape; and
  • Threats, stalking and cyberstalking can all be considered forms of domestic abuse.

Domestic violence can impact anyone including spouses; intimate or dating partners; cohabitants; family members; and children. Regardless of a person’s  socioeconomic background, education, age, sexual orientation, gender, race or religion, they can all be impacted by family violence and should be familiar with family law resources available to help.

Family violence, and allegations of family violence, can have a significant impact on anyone involved in a domestic violence situation. Allegations of family violence can lead to one spouse being unable to return to the family home, for instance, which is why any family member impacted by domestic violence should be aware that there are legal resources available to help anyone in a domestic violence situation.