What Acts Count As Domestic Violence
The Concept Of Domestic Violence
The traditional image of domestic violence is a man slapping or even beating his wife. While this is considered domestic violence, the definition of violence has expanded over the years. What acts constitute domestic violence? Here is a general overview of what is considered domestic violence in Texas today.
The Role of the Relationship
The difference between general assault and domestic violence is that there is an intimate relationship between the persons involved. The stereotypical domestic violence case is between spouses and ex-spouses, but it isn’t limited to that. Domestic violence in Texas includes violence against former boyfriends and girlfriends, dating partners, the children of a current or former spouse, foster children, blood relatives, and roommates. This means you can be charged with domestic violence if you abuse your girlfriend’s child or beat up your roommate. However, domestic violence is often called family violence, because it tends to involve partners and/or relatives.
The Definition of Assault
Domestic violence includes acts of violence and threats of violence. The act of assault must either include bodily injury or threat of immediate bodily injury. For example, assault would be stabbing someone, while the threat of immediate bodily injury occurs when someone holds the knife up and threatens to cut them. Assault must be intentional, knowing and/or reckless.
Physical contact that is highly offensive or could be considered provocative could fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. Pushing someone repeatedly is one such example, since pushing them down the stairs or into a hot stove would cause serious injury. Threats to rape someone are also considered domestic violence. Forcible sex is rape and certainly counts as domestic violence.
What Isn’t Considered Domestic Violence
The Texas Family Code does not include defensive measures against domestic violence to be domestic violence. The challenge is proving that your actions were defensive and not part of a mutual act of violence.
Drug and alcohol abuse is not domestic violence, and you shouldn’t blame addiction for domestic violence. Forcing drug and alcohol on someone is a form of physical abuse. For example, someone forcing a potential love interest to take drugs or drink alcohol so they can’t refuse sex is domestic violence.
Forcible restraint is a form of abuse. Locking someone in a room or holding them down are two such examples. Withholding physical needs like denying medical care are examples of abuse. Doing this to a stranger is clearly a crime. Doing it to a loved one or former partner is domestic violence.
Accidents are not assault, though they may cause injury. Deliberately playing with a knife or gun in a way that could cause harm would be considered assault. In short, playing a game with a weapon knowing that it could cause harm is abuse.
Emotional abuse is often considered domestic violence, but it is a gray area that’s very subjective. Insulting and humiliating someone can be emotional abuse. Gas-lighting and questioning someone’s sanity is also considered emotional abuse. Making someone financially dependent on them is a form of control, but it is not necessarily abuse. Stay-at-home parents are financially dependent on their partner, but this is not in and of itself abuse. It is recommended to talk to a certified and experienced Domestic Violence Fort Worth for counseling and detailed explanation.
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