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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - Adult, Child, Elder

Domestic violence comes in many forms. It may be physical such as slapping, punching, beating, or kicking. It may also be emotional; such as threats of harm or verbal abuse.

These are all forms of domestic violence. Violent behavior toward others is wrong no matter who does it. Family members are not excused, and abuse within the family is most appalling.

This is a setting in which we ideally feel safe and "seek refuge" from the rest of the world. It is not meant to be a war front in itself.

If you are in an abusive situation and don't do something to stop it, you may be harming your family. There is evidence that children raised in abusive homes are likely to become abusers or victims of abuse in later life. They are being taught that abuse is "the norm"; not that it is an unaccepted way of life.

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Types Of Domestic Violence Under The Law

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  • Physical Abuse Against You
  • The legal definition of domestic violence includes: causing you physical harm (hitting, kicking, slapping, throwing things, etc.) or threatening physical harm (with or without a weapon), coercing you to do something or refrain from doing something by threats or use of force, harassing you (causing emotional distress by lingering at your home, peering in windows, following you, calling you, texting you, etc.), forcing or attempting to force you to engage in any sexual act, or holding you against your will.

  • Emotional Abuse
  • Domestic violence also includes placing a party in fear of imminent serious bodily harm by threat of force. This includes threats of violence; or other conduct that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, like "I will hit you", "if you leave, I will hurt you or take the children," or "if you tell anyone, I will kill you," so long as the act actually causes substantial emotional distress.

  • Abuse Against a Child, Elder, or Other Unable To Defend Themselves
  • The law provides for protection against violence toward children and elders as well. Abuse is any physical injury, sexual abuse or emotional harm inflicted on a child or other purposefully by an adult household member. This includes sexual abuse such as fondling or rape. The abused need not be family members of the abuser in order for you to file an abuse petition. The law does, however, exempt discipline administered in a reasonable manner.

Domestic Violence Resources

If you're a victim of abuse or violence at the hands of someone you know or love, or you are recovering from an assault by a stranger, you are not alone.


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