Dating violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors an individual uses to exert control and/or power over a person that they are dating. This type of violent behavior can occur between heterosexual or same-sex couples.

What Is Considered Dating Violence?

This kind of violence can occur in many forms, including:

  • Verbal Abuse: This is a form of abuse where one partner berates the other using insults and threats.
  • Sexual Abuse: This consists of any activity that prohibits the partner being abused to control their own sexual activity such as being raped.
  • Digital Abuse: This involves using any form of technology and social media to keep track of, threaten, abuse, or harass the partner.
  • Physical Abuse: This is the intentional use of physical force with the intent to injure or cause fear.
  • Emotional Abuse: This involves using non-physical behavior to isolate, intimidate, stalk, or humiliate the partner.

Is Domestic Violence the Same as Dating Violence?

Sometimes, the terms are used interchangeably. However, domestic violence usually refers to an individual committing or threatening to commit violence against another family or household member. It usually involves the crimes of assault and/or battery. The term is broadly used because a household or family member can include:

  • Couples who are dating
  • Roommates
  • Spouses
  • Elders
  • Children
  • Same-sex partners
  • Housemates

Can Anyone Be Accused of Dating Violence?

Whether the violence is considered dating violence usually depends on:

  • The social, romantic, or intimate nature between the accuser and victim
  • The extent of the relationship between the individuals

When looking at the extent of the relationship, the factors considered include the:

  • Length of the relationship
  • Type of relationship
  • Frequency of interaction between the individuals

What Is the Penalty for Dating Violence?

Dating violence penalties are usually similar to domestic violence penalties in many jurisdictions. A misdemeanor conviction may include up to one year in jail and fines. A felony dating violence penalty includes possible prison time, probation, hefty fines, and mandatory rehabilitation courses. There are, of course, defenses available to anyone accused of dating violence who wishes to avoid these penalties.

Do I Need to Talk to a Lawyer about Dating Violence Charge?

If you are accused of dating violence, immediately talk to a criminal lawyer. The lawyer will be able to advise you of your rights and available defenses.