Types of Domestic Violence

Sep 30, 2015

Domestic violence is a rising issue in our country today.  What is domestic violence? According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, "Domestic violence is a repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner."

There are 5 main ways abuse occurs.  These are:

  • Physical: Does not necessarily mean punching, hitting, or slapping to call it "physical abuse."  Anything an abuser does that makes the victim fear for their safety and/or the safety of their children.  Examples of physical abuse where there isn't physical contact are: locking victim out of the house, throwing objects, or punching holes in the wall.
  • Emotional/Psychological: Verbal abuse is included in this category as well.  The abuser uses words intending to demean the other person such as calling the victim names, being completely negative about the partner, using abusive language, constantly putting the partner down, etc.  This type of abuse erodes at a person's self-esteem and self-worth.
  • Sexual: This could be anything from making demeaning remarks about the other person's body, forced sex acts or coercion, crossing partners sexual boundaries, or even forcing the other person to have sex with someone else.
  • Financial: The misuse of monetary funds without the other person's consent.  Things such as hiding money, running up credit cards, demanding partner sign over paychecks, or even demanding an account of all money spent are all types of financial abuse.
  • Identity: This one overlaps with other types of abuse, particularly emotional, and uses others to ruin the person such as outing them to a boss, family, or co-workers, telling the partner they will never have it as good because they are ugly or some other demeaning comment regarding their appearance.

Domestic violence takes many forms.  However, in California, for domestic violence to rise to the level of a criminal offense, it must fall within the category of a law that has been codified in the California Penal Code. One of the most common charges is a violation of Penal Code section 273.5.  This charge involves the willful infliction of injury on a spouse, former spouse, domestic partner, cohabitant, fiancee, the father or mother of your child, or someone with whom you are in a dating relationship.  This charge is a felony, however, if the harm is slight or moderate, the DA may choose to charge this offense as a violation of Penal Code section 234(e)(1).  This offense is commonly referred to as domestic battery and could involve any level of harmful or offensive touching.  


As one of the preeminent  Domestic Violence Lawyers in Fresno, our staff is here to defend your domestic violence-related offense. Please contact us if you would like to know more about how we can help you.

Category: Domestic Violence

Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.

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