HOW IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFINED?
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person to gain power and control
over another person that may include physical violence, sexual, emotional or psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking
or economic control. The law defines it as:
"Domestic Violence" means the occurrence of any of the following acts
by a person that is not an act of self-defense: causing or attempting to cause physical or mental harm to a family or household
member; placing a family or household member in fear of physical or mental harm; causing or attempting to cause a family or
household member to engage in involuntary sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress; and/or engaging in activity
toward a family or household member that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened,
harassed, or molested.
Further, the law defines "family or household member" to include any of the following:
- A spouse or former spouse.
- An individual with whom the person has or has had a dating relationship.
- An individual with whom the person is or has engaged in a sexual relationship.
- An individual to whom the person is related or was formerly related by marriage.
- An individual with whom the person has a child in common.
- The minor child of an individual described in the above bullet points.
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!
Nothing said or done gives anyone the right to intentionally hurt another person, not emotionally
or physically, especially one that they claim to love.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
It is the actual or threatened physical, sexual, psychological or economic abuse of an individual by someone
with whom they have or have had an intimate relationship. Domestic violence is the most common but least reported crime in
the nation. It affects men and women in all cultures, races, occupations, income levels and ages. It is a serious, unacceptable
crime which affects our children and society in a multitude of ways.
Domestic Violence in families with children is child abuse and profoundly affects children. Boys who witness
their father's violence are 10 times more likely to abuse their partners in adulthood than are other families. 85% of domestic
violence perpetrators witnessed domestic violence in their own homes growing up.
If every woman victimized by domestic violence last year were to join hands in a line, the string of people
would span from New York to Los Angeles and back again.
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