What Is Domestic Violence?
Knowing the definition of domestic violence can help you take action against it.
What kind of behavior is considered domestic violence?
Domestic violence can take a number of forms, including:
- physical behavior (slapping, punching, pulling hair or shoving)
- forced or coerced sexual acts or behavior (unwanted fondling or intercourse, or sexual jokes and insults)
- threats (threatening to hit, harm or use a weapon)
- psychological abuse (attacks on self-esteem, attempts to control or limit another person's behavior, repeated insults or interrogation)
- stalking (following a person, appearing at a person's home or workplace, making repeated phone calls or leaving written messages), or
- cyberstalking (repeated online action or email that causes substantial emotional distress).
Typically, many kinds of abuse go on at the same time in a household.Are TROs and emergency protective orders available only when the abuser is a spouse?
No, in most states, the victim of an abusive live-in lover can obtain a TRO or emergency protective order. In a few states, the victim of any adult relative, an abusive lover (non-live-in) or even a roommate can obtain such an order. To learn about your state's rule, contact a local crisis intervention center, social service organization or battered women's shelter.