Domestic violence cases are some of the most heinous crimes a person can commit. The effects of domestic violence can be felt not just by the victim but also by their families, friends, and even their co-workers. Unfortunately, this type of abuse is all too prevalent, and it comes in many forms. Many people choose not to report them for various reasons, including shame or fear of retaliation if their abuser is threatening further violence if the victim speaks out. With so much at stake, knowing what qualifies as domestic violence in Joshua Tree, California is crucial.
Under California law, domestic violence is any abuse committed against an intimate partner or family member. This includes physical violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and stalking. To be considered domestic violence, the abuse does not have to be physical, which is a myth many fall victim to. Any of the aforementioned types of abuse can be considered domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Several resources are available to victims of domestic violence, including hotlines, shelters, and support groups. If you’re not sure where to turn, you can always contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for 24/7 assistance.
Domestic violence takes many forms, and it’s important to be aware of all the different types of abuse that qualify.
This abuse is the most easily recognizable form of domestic violence. Physical abuse is any type of physical force used against a victim using the intention to cause fear, pain, or injury. This can include:
Physical abuse can also include denying a victim medical care or forcing them to take drugs. Some clear signs that someone may have been the victim of physical abuse include:
It’s important to remember that physical abuse does not always leave visible injuries. If you suspect that someone you know is the victim of physical abuse, trust your gut and reach out for help.
Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact forced upon a victim. This can include, but is not limited to:
Sexual abuse can also include threats or actions meant to coerce a victim into sexual acts. Some signs that someone may have been the victim of sexual abuse include:
Sexual violence is some of the hardest abuse to come forward about. If you recognize any of these signs in someone who typically acts differently, you could make the difference between finding the help they need to heal or continuing to suffer in silence.
Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that attacks a victim’s sense of self-worth or emotional well-being. This can include, but is not limited to:
Emotional abuse can also include actions meant to control a victim, such as:
Some signs that someone may be the victim of emotional abuse include:
If you notice any change in the emotional health or behavior of someone you know, it could indicate something has happened behind closed doors. Without being too intrusive, see if there is anything you can do to help and encourage the person to seek professional help if needed.
Financial abuse is any form of abuse that controls a victim’s access to financial resources. This can include, but is not limited to:
Financial abuse is more difficult to spot because it often happens gradually over time. However, some signs that someone may be the victim of financial abuse include:
If you are concerned about the financial well-being of someone you know, see if there is anything you can do to help. You can also encourage the person to seek professional help, as financial abuse can be a complicated issue to navigate.
Stalking is a form of harassment that involves repeated, unwanted contact or attention from another person. This can include:
Some signs that someone may be the victim of stalking include:
Keeping an eye out for someone you care for that is being stalked can be difficult, but there are clear and common signs you can look for. Never hesitate to reach out for help if you are concerned about someone’s safety.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, there are legal options available. At the Law Offices of Athina K. Powers, we can help. We understand the complex nature of domestic violence and can provide the knowledgeable, compassionate representation you need to protect your rights and safety. Contact us today to learn more.