Types of Abuse that Can Lead to Domestic Violence Charges in California
In California, domestic violence laws apply to all crimes that are committed against one’s intimate partner (that is, a spouse, former spouse, significant other, former significant other, the person with whom one lives or lived and the person with whom one has children), one’s child, parent or anyone else related by blood or marriage within the second degree. Domestic abuse is a general phrase that encompasses many different types of abuse, some that are easy to identify and prove and others that are not.
Physical abuse is perhaps the most commonly identified and most reported type of domestic abuse and can range from restraint to murder. Physical abuse occurs when an individual intentionally uses force upon another, attempting to cause pain, harm and/or injury. Types of physical abuse include, but are not limited to, sexual abuse, slapping, hitting, punching, pushing, shaking, restraining, biting, choking and assault with a weapon.
Emotional abuse, also known as verbal abuse or psychological abuse is thought to be widely underreported because of the fact that it is difficult to prove and is usually committed in conjunction with other forms of abuse. Although it would seem that physical abuse would be more painful, the effects of emotional abuse are considered to be far more devastating. Emotional abuse occurs when an individual threatens or intimidates another in an effort to gain control over that person, shames, mocks or criticizes another person (regardless of whether others are around at the time), isolates another person, destroys pets or property in front of another person in an effort to instill fear in that individual and when an offender blames the victim for the offender’s violent actions.
Financial abuse, or economic dependence, occurs when an individual either prevents access to or withholds money, checks or credit cards from another, steals from another (for example, a child who steals from a parent or a partner who steals from his or her partner or exploits that partner for his or her own financial gain) or withholds necessities from another such as food, shelter, medicine or clothes. Financial abuse often goes hand-in-hand with emotional abuse and can cause a victim to feel absolutely hopeless.
The effects of domestic violence are serious and can last forever. Victims of D.V. often exhibit depression, anxiety or fear, low self-esteem, anger, withdrawal, a difficulty in forming relationships with others, eating disorders and other health problems and may develop drug, alcohol and/or other destructive, addictive behaviors. The effects on children (whether they are directly abused or witness the abuse that takes place in their home) are even more extreme. In addition to the above behaviors, children will often act out by committing crimes and acting violent towards others, may attempt suicide and are more likely to grow up to be adult abusers.
The outstanding attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm specialize in California crimes of domestic violence and can help defend against a charge of intimate partner abuse, child abuse or elder abuse. These trustworthy attorneys can also provide referrals for counseling and other types of services for abusers who want help and for the victims that they have hurt. Because of the devastating effects that abuse can have on one’s family, an offender faces severe consequences if convicted of a Domestic Violence-related crime. One’s family and freedom are too important to trust to an inexperienced attorney. Contact the attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm today for a free consultation.