We usually associate domestic violence with actual physical violence, so when someone hits, punches, slaps, or kicks a family member and that victim files a complaint, we can expect the person being reported to be slapped with domestic violence charges. He will then have to find a domestic violence attorney to represent him in court. There are defendants, however, who seem puzzled that they were booked for domestic violence when they never physically hurt a single hair on the head of a member of their family.
What those defendants and many other people don’t realize is that domestic violence is not just about physical abuse. There are other types of domestic violence, and they would do well to know what they are. Here are some facts about other forms of domestic violence that defendants should know.
Let’s say a defendant insists he has never laid a hand on his wife or children in any way. But if he constantly threatens and intimidates them, then he is committing psychological abuse. He could be threatening them with physical harm to their person or their property, or he could be going to great lengths to try to control the life of his victims in all aspects.
A domestic violence defendant may also say he never threatened anyone in his family of physical harm and still be charged with domestic violence because of emotional abuse. This kind of abuse takes place when the victim is often at the receiving end of insults, unflattering names, unfair and relentless criticism, and humiliation. Because of the emotional abuse the defendant has inflicted on his spouse or his children, the latter often suffer from a severely-diminished sense of self-worth. Admittedly, however, it could be tricky to build a domestic violence case around emotional abuse. In most cases, emotional abuse has to be claimed with other types of abuse to merit a domestic violence charge.
If the defendant is the type who thinks that his spouse is obligated to have sex with him whenever he wants, then it’s likely he is coercing sexual contact, and that is sexual abuse. It will also be sexual abuse if he forces his wife to have sex with other people. Even pressuring the spouse to have an abortion or not to use condoms and other contraceptives during sex can be construed as sexual abuse.
Economic or financial abuse
Many women complain about their spouses withholding money or not giving them access to their finances. These women are victims of financial or economic abuse, and they have every right to file a complaint. They could also take legal action if their spouse actively works to make her lose her job or prevent her from getting one, forces them to work, or demanding that they turn over their paychecks to him.
These are just some of the other types of domestic violence that defendants may have been committing, but were not aware that they constitute that kind of case. If you’re one such defendant, you are going to need the services of a lawyer who is well-versed in laws covering domestic violence to represent you in court.