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Domestic Violence Definition

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How Is Domestic Violence Defined?

Domestic violence or spousal abuse is often defined as the violent physical abuse of a spouse or partner. This is usually set in the context of a marriage or legal union. However, domestic violence as a broad term can also include abuse of other relations, including siblings, parents, children, and other relatives.

The term usually refers to an ongoing, recurring pattern of abuse, although it can also include a one-time incident. Domestic violence often involves other aspects such as psychological abuse or emotional abuse. Domestic violence is sometimes called spousal abuse.

Who Handles Domestic Violence Cases?

Like many other family law issues, domestic violence cases may involve the interaction of several different agencies and authorities, including:

  • Judges
  • Lawyers
  • Police authorities
  • Social workers

In some cases, employers may also become involved, especially if the domestic abuse case begins to affect the family’s employment arrangement

What Are the Punishments for Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence typically involves assault and/or battery charges. Depending on the seriousness of the offenses, domestic violence may result in felony or misdemeanor charges. These are serious criminal charges that can result in punishments that include jail time and/or fines. Felony domestic violence is much more serious and may involve violations such as aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, or sexual assault.

In addition, suing for domestic violence can also occur in a civil court. This can occur if the offenses cause financial losses to the victim party/parties. Other legal consequences can also result, such as a loss of child custody and visitation rights. Domestic violence restraining orders can also be issued.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with a Domestic Violence Case?

Domestic violence is a serious issue and can also involve major privacy rights for the parties. You may wish to hire a lawyer you need help reporting domestic violence or filing a legal claim over the issue. Your attorney can provide you with legal assistance while keeping your identity and your interests confidential. A qualified family lawyer in your area can assist you during court trial and during hearings.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-24-2018 05:47 PM PDT

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