What are the types of domestic violence?
Domestic abuse is not only confined to a marriage situation. It can also occur in a couple who is living together as intimate partners. There are several distinct types of domestic violence, but they all incorporate some or all of these key elements:
- Physical injury
- Emotional injury
It is important to remember that physical abuse is not the only form of domestic violence. The types of domestic violence are:
- Physical abuse – hitting, pushing, punching, slapping, kicking, shoving, restraining, holding, confinement, etc.
- Verbal abuse – threatening, yelling, name-calling, screaming, embarrassing, harassment, criticizing, etc.
- Emotional abuse – possessiveness, isolation, blaming the victim for the abuser’s feelings or actions, telling the victim no one wants them, and the abuser is they are the only one who loves them, etc.
- Sexual abuse – rape (any unwanted sexual contact – even between spouses), forcing the victim to do sex acts like filming a sex act or viewing pornography when they don’t want to, sexual harassment, ridiculing the victim about their sexuality, etc.
- Economic abuse – withholding money and other economic resources; withholding resources like necessary medication, food, clothes, and shelter; exploiting the victim’s resources for their own personal gain; preventing the victim from working or denying them the ability to choose their occupation; etc.
- Spiritual abuse – manipulating the victim using their spiritual or religious beliefs; ridiculing the victim’s spiritual or religious beliefs; preventing the victim from practicing their spiritual or religious beliefs; forcing the children to be raised in a faith that the victim has not agreed to; etc.
In addition to spousal or domestic intimate partner abuse, domestic abuse can also include elder abuse, dependent adult abuse, and child abuse.
Is stalking or cyberstalking domestic abuse?
Stalking or cyberstalking is a domestic abuse. California law defines stalking as:
Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.
This usually happens once the victim has left the relationship. The abuser may follow the victim, sent numerous email or texts, send notes, send unwanted gifts, track them by GPS, call them on the phone repeatedly, watch them with hidden cameras, suddenly show up at places where the victim is, etc.
What are the signs of domestic violence/abuse?
Domestic abuse does not look the same in every relationship. Sometimes the abuse is obvious because the victim bears the bruises and scars from being hit. Other times, the abuse is more subtle. The scars from emotional abuse are much easier to hide. If you’ve ever asked, “am I in a domestic violence situation?” chances are, the answer is yes. Trust your instincts and seek help if you think you may be a victim. Some signs of abuse include:
- They make you feel afraid or intimidated by the way the act towards you, look at you, or talk to you
- They pressure you to use alcohol or drugs
- They threaten to take away your children or harm them
- They destroy your property
- They take your money away from you or refuse to give you money for things you need
- They pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to
- They prevent you from going to the doctor or seeking medical treatment when you are sick or injured
- They kill your pets
- They don’t allow you to work
- They make you perform sexual acts that make you uncomfortable (emotionally or physically) or that are painful
- They separate you from your family and friends, forbid you from seeing them or try to convince you that they are bad for you, out to get you, want to harm you
What are the domestic violence laws in California?
California law makes several types of domestic violence a crime. When the victim escapes the relationship, they may be able to get a restraining order against the abusive partner. A domestic violence restraining order helps protect the victim from the abuser.
What are the domestic violence sentencing guidelines in California?
Domestic violence charges in California are based on their standard criminal counterparts and can carry stiff penalties that include jail time and fines.
If you have escaped a domestic violence situation or want to escape, you will need an aggressive, experienced attorney in your corner. At the Law Office of Steven L. Fritsch, we will work with you to ensure the safety of yourself and your children. From the domestic violence restraining order to the divorce settlement, we will be here for you with compassion and understanding for what you are going through. Contact us today and get the help that you need.