The definition of domestic violence is, according to the Office on Violence against Women of the United States Department of Justice, a pattern of behavior that is abusive in a relationship that is used for one member of the relation, the abuser, to gain or maintain control over the other member, the abused.
This definition makes the inclusion of many forms of abuse:
- Physical abuse: You are being physically abused if you are; hit, slapped, bitted, cut, pinch, hair pulled, burned or hurt in any possible way. Physical abuse is any kind of violent behavior inflicted on the victim, it also includes forcing an alcohol or drug abuse on someone or denying medical treatment to a person.
- Sexual abuse: is when someone forces another person into a sexual behavior or contact without the victim’s approval. It is known that this happen within marriage, this is call marital rape. Another form that this abuse can be presented is the sexual demeaning of the victim.
- Emotional abuse: you might be a victim of this type of abuse if you feel like someone tries to invalidate your self-esteem by name calling you or constantly criticism. Some abuser can also try to destroy the relationship of the abused with her o his children and other members of the family.
- Economic abuse: This happens when someone tries to make another person complete reliant and takes out the ability of this person to economically maintain her or himself. This type of abusers normally seek to maintain total control over all financial resources, prohibiting the victim from going to work or school or withhold the victims access to funds.
- Psychological abuse: The abuser trays to cause fear bay intimidating, threatening to hurt him or her, himself or herself or the victim’s family or friends, even the pets or children are in danger here. These types of abusers usually try to separate the victim from all friends and family members too. And they also try to keep the abused victim from work and/or school.
- Stalking: can include spying, watching, showing up at the victims place of work or home, harassing, collecting information, sending unwanted gifts, making phone calls, leaving written messages, following the victim or appearing at a person´s workplace or home. Although these acts individually are usually legal if they are done continuously they result in stalking, and this is a crime.
Victims of domestic Violence
Socioeconomic status, race, education level, age, religion, sexual orientation or gender does not exclude anyone from possibly being a victim of domestic abuse. Usually people used the term “domestic violence” to refer to the wife abuse, this is incorrect, domestic violence recognizes that wives are not the only ones that can be victim of this kind of abuse.
The victims of domestic abuse can be:
- Sexual, dating or intimate partners.
- Family members.
A myth that lots of people believe is that the victims of domestic violence can get a protective order against her or his partner only. This is actually not true. You can get a protective order against any person who lives with you or any lover you might have. So if you are or know of someone that is a victim of domestic abuse, please take any necessary measures and call the police as soon as you can. If you need legal advice on the matter you can refer to https://www.ap-lawgroup.com/en/