Is Domestic Violence Always Physical?

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When people hear about domestic violence, pictures of one person beating the other one come to mind. However, domestic violence does not always have to be physical. Domestic violence can happen when the abuser’s presence gives rise to psychological harm, maldevelopment, and deprivation. 

Violence comes in various forms. Not being educated on the topic makes you more vulnerable to domestic violence (DV) as you cannot recognize it when you see it. If you believe you are experiencing DV, you should never remain silent. Reach out to a Vancouver domestic violence lawyer today. 

Understanding the definition of domestic violence

The legal definition of domestic violence is very broad. It encompasses abuse that comes in various forms. It includes a variety of physical and non-physical activities that are intended to cause harm to someone in a domestic setting. The harm can be physical, mental, or emotional. 

Most victims of Vancouver domestic violence do not report their case until the abuse becomes physical. Therefore, most cases of domestic violence involve physical injuries. This leads everyone to think that domestic violence is only physical abuse. 

Abusers and victims of domestic violence are often related by blood, have a marital status or an unmarried romantic relationship, have a child together, have a parent/child relationship, or simply live in the same household regardless of their interpersonal relationship. For example, domestic violence can also happen between two friends sharing the same apartment. 

Non-physical domestic violence

Domestic violence can include many non-physical activities. 

  • Harming someone physically, or attempting to do so, either intentionally or non-intentionally.
  • Sexual assault, such as rape, unwelcome touching, and other forms of inappropriate sexual contact.
  • Engaging in such activities or behaving in a way that makes someone fear for their safety. This often includes direct threats. 
  • Causing disruptions in other people’s lives by doing unlawful activities such as stalking, harassment, destroying property (vehicle, house, another valuable object), etc. 

What are the common forms of physical violence?

Physical violence is anything that can be seen with the naked eye. The most common forms include beating, punching, slapping, kicking, throwing objects at someone, following someone, or preventing them from entering a building. 

What are the common forms of non-physical violence?

Non-physical violence includes mental and emotional abuse. They may occur in the following ways. 

  • Calling the victim inappropriate or unwanted names
  • Lecturing the victim
  • Accusing the victim of abuse
  • Lying
  • Using sarcasm
  • Infantilizing the victim
  • Trivializing the victim’s emotions
  • Embarrassing the victim in front of others
  • Withholding affection

Steps to take if you are facing domestic violence

If you believe what you are experiencing is violence or abuse, you should never stay silent. Allowing them to correct themselves once or twice is fine, but letting the abuse continue more than two times is wrong. There are laws that can protect you and the other members of the family from this behavior. Consult an attorney today. 

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