It’s commonly believed that domestic abuse can only happen in instances between family members; be it spouses, child and parent, or another relation. In actuality, the moment two individuals begin dating, the same rules apply, and as such, any violence directed at a dating partner can be viewed as a criminal offense.
What Defines Dating Violence?
As with other instances of domestic violence, the key defining element is a pattern of abusive behaviors, especially when the aim is to exert power and control over a dating partner. However, it’s important to note that while a pattern exists over a period of time, any first occurrence of abuse is still considered as domestic violence. Traditionally, when there exists a pattern, that indicates that there can be an escalation over time, which is why it’s best to bring to light any domestic violence before such time arises.
Whether a relationship is serious or casual, monogamous or polygamous, short-term or long-term, domestic violence charges remain the same. If you or a loved one are involved in any dating situation that has experienced or is currently experiencing abuse, be it mental or physical, consult with someone who can help you to get the justice that you deserve.
What Qualifies as Dating Violence?
It’s important to know what is considered as an abusive act in the eyes of the law. The following are the major examples of domestic abuse that both teens and young adults can experience:
- Physical Abuse: Using physical force with the aim of causing injury or fear, is considered to be physical abuse. Examples include: Striking, shoving, strangulation, beating, or use of a weapon.
- Verbal or Emotional Abuse: Threats, insults, constant surveillance, humiliation, stalking, coercion, or intimidation are all levels of verbal or emotional abuse that can result in charges against you.
- Sexual Abuse: In instances where one person is unable to control their sexual activity, whether through drugs, coercion, rape, or any other activity, they are considered victims of sexual abuse.
- Digital Abuse: A growing trend in our society is using social media to evoke fear and harassment of someone. Cyber bullying, excessive threats and/or stalking online, and even “sexting” are considered abuse. In addition, demanding use of one’s private information or property is also highly illegal.
If you or a loved one are experiencing or have experienced any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact a lawyer. Your health and well-being are our primary concern, and you deserve to live a life without worry of the next moment in the pattern. We are here to fight for you.