When most people think of domestic violence, they think of physical assault; however, this is not the only definition that exists under the law. The Judicial Branch of California reports that domestic assault occurs between individuals involved in a sexual relationship, share children or those who may be married or unmarried yet live together. As such, there are as many definitions under the umbrella of domestic violence as there are individual circumstances of those accused.
Domestic assault and violence charges may differ depending on the actions involved, and understanding what they are may help those accused to navigate the legal process related to such charges with greater confidence.
Threatening to harm a domestic partner or making him or her believe the danger is real and imminent is one form of domestic violence. This includes threatening to harm the family’s children, extended children or even pets. This includes threats made vocally, by text or over the phone.
2. Destroying property
Some individuals prefer to destroy personal items instead of hitting their partners, but this could result in a domestic violence charge as well. Burning or bleaching clothes, damaging a vehicle or ruining their electronics all fall under this charge. Such an accusation may become more serious if the person pressing charges already filed a restraining order against the accused.
Following a partner once a relationship ends or is about to end can result in a stalking charge. This includes digital stalking, such as monitoring social media sites and making multiple accounts to track an ex-partner’s actions.
Physical, mental and emotional abuse all fall under the definition of domestic violence. Individual circumstances may affect such charges as governed by local courts.