Domestic violence accusations should never be taken lightly. Once someone is accused of domestic violence, it could greatly affect their freedom and finances. Since domestic violence can be such a general term, it’s important to define and identify its more specific circumstances. This way, those being accused of domestic violence can have a better understanding of a certain situation they may have been involved in.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) defines domestic violence as “a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.” Given this act typically happens between people in a relationship, domestic violence settings are usually in a home or other place of living. Not only does this allow for people to act out more than they normally would, but it also means not a lot of witnesses are nearby.
Something else to consider is the word “violence.” This word leads people to believe there’s some sort of physical pain being distributed. While this could certainly be true, it isn’t always the case. Domestic violence can take place in the form of verbal, emotional, and economic abuse. Here are some of the more common types of domestic violence:
When it comes to domestic violence, verbal abuse is defined as using threats or placing unnecessary blame to embarrass or diminish a victim’s mental state. While this type of abuse can be just as harmful to a victim, sometimes it’s hard to delineate. Here are a few concrete examples of verbal abuse:
- Threatening to kill, hurt, a victim or their property
- Offensive name-calling
- Telling a victim they’re not desirable
- Yelling, screaming, or using words to create terror in a victim
While verbal abuse can create a sense of emotional abuse, it’s important to understand how these two types can differ. The NDVH defines emotional abuse as “any behavior that exploits another’s vulnerability, insecurity, or character. Such behaviors include continuous degradation, intimidation, manipulation, brainwashing, or control of another to the detriment of the individual.” Here are a couple of ways emotional abuse could take place:
- Consistently ignoring a victim’s requests
- Forcing the victim to take drugs
- Not allowing the victim to practice religion
- Purposefully embarrassing the victim in front of others
Advice is always welcomed when it comes to finances, but it should never be forced upon anyone. In a household, one person can typically oversee finances. However, this does not mean the other party can’t have any power at all. When it comes to shared money, it’s defined exactly as it reads, “shared.” Here are a few types of ways economic abuse takes place:
- Harassing a victim while they’re at work
- Forcing a victim to send money to your account
- Keeping money in secret accounts
- Refusing to provide money for things like rent, utilities, or food
Is Domestic Violence Specific to Romantic Partners?
No, domestic violence can take place between, family members, friends, partners, and roommates. The word domestic simply implies that the behavior took place in the setting of where someone lives. Although the majority of cases include people that are romantically involved, it is not uncommon for adult roommates or longtime family members to be charged with domestic violence.
Examples of Wrongful Accusations
Despite the various types of domestic violence, there are still plenty of scenarios where wrongful accusations are made. Whether the case was a complete lie, accident, or considered self-defense, it’s important to keep in mind that your side of the story is just as meaningful. Here are three examples of how a wrongful accusation could be made:
Dishonesty – If a charge is made, but the alleged victim’s story doesn’t add up with the injuries they’ve suffered, it could clear up charges. This is especially true if your side of the story also proves that you weren’t present at the time the injuries were sustained.
Self-defense – If the injuries sustained by the alleged victim were a result of self-defense, charges could be dropped. Let’s say the victim charged at you swinging their arms, and you shoved them away. As a result, they fell to the ground and sustained an injury. This could be argued as self-defense as you were trying to protect yourself.
Accident – much like the self-dense case, injuries aren’t always on purpose. If you’re trying to express frustration and accidentally throw something in the direction of an alleged victim, it could be deemed as a complete accident. Though it might be harder to prove, you still have a case to make.
What are the Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges?
If someone is charged with domestic violence the penalty could be steep. In some cases, those guilty of domestic violence have received fines totaling $10,000 and a sentence of up to 4 years in prison. Either way, domestic violence charges can completely change someone’s life. If you’ve been accused of domestic abuse, it’s important that you hire legal representation you can trust. At Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC, our team of dedicated attorneys will make sure your side of the story is heard.
For more information on the common types of domestic abuse and how our legal professionals can assist you, contact us online today!