When confronted with the phrase “domestic abuse” or “domestic violence,” many people conjure up an image of a wife-beating lowlife who deserves to spend time in jail. It may come as a shock to such people, then, that one can face such charges without ever having committed a physical offense. In fact, there are several forms of domestic abuse that might not involve any physical violence at all.
According to the Huffington Post, nonviolent abuse may occur independently or concurrently with physical abuse—and both men and women may be targets. There are a few things you should know if you have been accused of any form of domestic abuse, including the following three offenses:
In the heat of an argument, many people say things they do not really mean. Sometimes this includes threats—you may even threaten physical violence even though you have no intention of carrying it out. Lesser threats may qualify as domestic abuse, though, too. Any threat of inflicting harm on another person is a potentially criminal act that can be tried and prosecuted in court.
Perhaps you have not threatened your partner, but you have lashed out verbally in other forms. Severe verbal abuse might constitute domestic abuse in some cases, even if you were inebriated or otherwise provoked by circumstance. Even when you are in the midst of a dispute, it is important to avoid using inflammatory language against your partner. Such language could make you criminally liable.
One of the most common—yet commonly overlooked—forms of abuse is controlling behavior. This can manifest in a variety of ways. You might be financially controlling or socially controlling towards your partner without ever realizing it. If this behavior prohibits her or him from autonomously living life, though, it is a form of domestic abuse that should not be taken lightly.