Intimate Partner Violence

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What Is Intimate Partner Violence?

Intimate partner violence is a term used to describe cyclical occurrences of physical abuse or violence between married persons, those joined by civil union, or live-in partners. It is also referred to as "spousal abuse," although that term is often used to specifically describe married couples.

Most cycles of intimate partner violence follow a predictable pattern of stages:

Thus, intimate partner violence often involves multiple incidents of violence that stretch out over long periods of time (like months or years). Some states only recognize domestic violence cases between those who are legally married or joined by civil union. Many states recognize domestic violence protection for gay persons and other arrangements.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence?

Intimate partner violence can result in various legal consequences. They include:

Is Domestic Violence a Felony?

Domestic violence or intimate partner violence can sometimes be charged as a felony. This can happen in cases involving:

Felony charges can result in prison sentences (greater than one year, sometimes up to 10 or 15 years). Monetary criminal fines may also apply in felony cases. Remember, though, that there are defenses available to those accused of all types of domestic violence, including intimate partner violence and dating violence.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Intimate partner violence cases can often be very complex. They may involve many different legal issues from both civil and criminal law systems. You may wish to hire a family law lawyer if you need help with a domestic violence case. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice for the issue. Also, your lawyer will be able to represent you during the actual proceedings in court.

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Last Modified: 08-26-2015 01:23 PM PDT

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