What Constitutes Domestic Violence?

What Constitutes Domestic Violence?

Posted By Hunter & Johnson, PLLC || 17-Dec-2015

Domestic violence is often portrayed in the news, media, and entertainment industries as physically striking a spouse or family member. While this is certainly a clear portrayal of what constitutes domestic violence, it might not even be the most common form of it. If an action causes any of the following emotions or consequences, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) may consider it domestic violence:

  • Intimidation
  • Manipulation
  • Humiliation
  • Isolation
  • Fright
  • Terror
  • Coercion
  • Blame
  • Injury

To better understand domestic violence charges, it is necessary to take a closer look at the forms of abuse the DOJ considers capable of causing domestic violence.

  1. Physical: Using physical force to cause physical harm, but also forcing a partner to consume alcohol or use drugs. Denying them medical coverage can also be considered physical abuse.
  2. Sexual: Contact or behavior that is sexual in nature and uninvited by the alleged victim. Treating someone in a demeaning manner may constitute sexual domestic violence.
  3. Emotional: Intentionally lowering someone’s self-esteem or perceived self-worth through harsh criticism and insults, as well as detracting from their relationship with their own children.
  4. Economic: Preventing someone from accessing their own finances, effectively taking control of their money and resources. May be done by stopping them from going to work.
  5. Psychological: Using threats and intimidation to cause someone to feel mental harm. This area is somewhat vague and may be applied to most domestic violence cases.

Have you been accused of domestic violence but you don’t think you have committed any of the aforementioned scenarios? Is it possible exaggerations or misunderstandings have led to your arrest? You need to defend your rights as soon as you can!

Contact Hunter & Johnson PLLC and speak to one of our Washington D.C. criminal defense attorneys today.

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