What Makes a Crime Domestic Violence?

No one should feel uncomfortable, frightened, or unsafe in their own homes. To ensure that the legal rights of domestic violence victims are protected, the state imposes severe penalties on people who have committed a domestic violence offense. Unfortunately, some people abuse the state’s domestic violence laws.

Many people have filed false accusations of domestic violence against former or current partners for all kinds of reasons, whether to sway the court in their favor or as leverage in a disputed child custody or divorce case, among others. But what exactly makes a crime a domestic violence offense?

The Alleged Domestic Violence Victim Matters

One of the main elements of a domestic violence offense is the alleged victim. A crime is considered domestic violence when it involves the following people:

  • Your children
  • Parents
  • Former or current spouses
  • Stepchildren
  • Stepparents
  • Foster children
  • Foster parents
  • People who are living or have lived in the same home, such as siblings, roommates, unwed partners, and extended family members.

Acts That Make a Crime Domestic Violence

While most domestic violence cases in Georgia involve some form of physical abuse, there are other forms of domestic violence that may be charged as felony or misdemeanor crimes under the law. Among the most common forms of domestic violence include the following:

Physical Abuse

  • Slapping, hitting, kicking, punching, choking, biting, or anything that can physically hurt the victim
  • Throwing something at the victim
  • Preventing the victim from sleeping or eating
  • Hurting the victim with a weapon
  • Forcing the victim to take drugs or drink alcohol

Sexual Violence and Coercion

  • Sexually assaulting the victim
  • Disregarding the victim’s feelings toward sexual acts
  • Forcing the victim to watch pornography
  • Forcing the victim to dress inappropriately
  • Intentionally trying to infect the victim with a sexually transmitted disease (STD)

Emotional Abuse

  • Continually bullying, insulting, criticizing, or gaslighting the victim
  • Being overly possessive or jealous
  • Humiliating the victim in private or public
  • Blaming the victim for the abuse that’s happening and making them feel that they deserve it
  • Isolating the victim from family and friends
  • Controlling the victim’s actions and daily activities

Financial Abuse

  • Not giving the victim access to funds or bank accounts
  • Forbidding the victim from working
  • Refusing to provide money for the victim, even for necessities
  • Taking control of the victim’s money
  • Living in the victim’s home and not financially contributing to the household

Reproductive Coercion

  • Refusing to use or lying about birth control
  • Forbidding the victim from using birth control
  • Keeping track of the victim’s menstrual cycle
  • Continually keeping the victim pregnant

Digital Abuse

  • Regularly looking through the victim’s phone or digital devices
  • Sending threatening, insulting, or negative text messages, social media messages, or emails
  • Insisting on getting or stealing the victim’s passwords
  • Monitoring the victim’s activities through GPS

Get Legal Advice From a Skilled Cumming Domestic Violence Lawyer

If you’ve been falsely accused or charged with domestic violence, you must act promptly. To schedule your case review with the Cumming domestic violence lawyer at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland, please send us a message online.