Understanding Domestic Violence

Ellena Arroyo

It is an unfortunate fact that many people are abusive towards other people in their lives, whether they are spouses, children, or friends. Domestic violence, sometimes also called spousal abuse, is used as an umbrella term for all forms of abuse between two individuals who share a close bond.

In recent years, domestic violence laws in California have been modified to reflect many types of abuse in many types of relationships. For instance, violence may occur between:

· Married couples
· Unmarried couples
· Friends
· Family members
· Roommates

Generally, any type of abuse occurring between members of these relationships may be considered violence. This includes:

· Physical abuse
· Sexual abuse
· Verbal abuse
· Psychological abuse
· Financial abuse

In each of these scenarios, the individual committing abuse usually does so to gain power over the other individual. Often, victims of abuse suffer physical and emotional harm, some of which may be irreparable over time.

Any form of abuse may be considered a crime, though domestic violence charges usually carry separate sentences since it is its own crime. Individuals who are charged with domestic violence may face criminal charges if the abused individual decides to press charges.

In most cases, physical and sexual abuse are the easiest forms of violence to prove, so they are the ones that individuals are most likely to be arrested for.

Regardless of why an individual is arrested, being charged with any crime is a serious offense that may yield an individual a significant prison sentence if he or she does not have proper criminal defense during his or her trial.

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