It may seem a bit silly to ask the question in the title, but sadly, many people aren’t sure what qualifies as domestic violence. Is your relationship abusive or just unhappy? Learning the legal definitions of abuse can help you understand when it is crucial to get help, no matter how much you care about the other person.
Abuse can be categorized into a number of topic areas. However, all are abuse and should be taken seriously. If you experience any of these types of abuse, seek help from the police as soon as possible. Remember, domestic abuse can come from a spouse – male or female, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a parent, an adult figure in the household, or even an adult child in the case or senior citizens.
Sexual abuse is the first type of domestic abuse you should consider. Even if you are married to someone, sex without your consent is abuse and, in most cases, rape. Sexual abuse also comes in the form of sex with a minor or sexual contact with a minor. This is child abuse and a tragic form of domestic violence.
Domestic abuse can also be physical in a non-sexual way. All forms of violence are considered abuse. Even being hit once or being slapped rather than punched is a form of abuse. Physical domestic abuse can come from a man or a woman, so remember that it is possible for a wife to be the abuser. Physical violence against children is also a form of domestic abuse, although spanking is not illegal as a form of punishment. Check out your state laws to understand where spanking turns from punishment for a naughty child to physical domestic abuse.
Physical domestic abuse can be a one-time thing or come in the form of outbursts. This is comment, and afterwards, the abuser usually apologizes and wins back the hearts of his or her family. However, this does not make it OK. Always seek help if physical violence has occurred. Promises to change only lead to more physical abuse. Eventually, someone who simply has violent outbursts starts to have them more and more often until abuse is a part of your daily life.
The law also recognizes terrorism and verbal abuse as domestic abuse. In a household, the head of the family may not actually hit others, but he or she may still abuse others in the house with threats, cruel and unusual punishments, coercion, blackmail, humiliation, degradation, and so forth. Stalking may also be a form of abuse, and it is against the law if you have a restraining order out against the other person.
Restraining orders are the best way to put an end to domestic abuse (or at least start the process). Domestic abuse is not your fault, and the law is on your side. If you are being abused sexually, physically, or psychologically, seek help today. With a restraining order and the help of a good lawyer, you can put your life back on track for happiness, and you can bring your abuser to justice.