Domestic violence laws exist to protect an intimate partner/spouse against a wide variety of cruel acts of their significant. The main concept of domestic violence is when force or duress is used to control another in a relationship. When many think of domestic violence they think of physical acts, but this is not a necessary condition for someone to be guilty of domestic violence. Here are a the the forms of domestic abuse found in Maryland’s domestic violence law:
Physical abuse: The most obvious of forms is defined as (1) an act that causes serious bodily harm, or (2) an act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm. As described, a person does not have to be seriously injured for the law to apply, but only develop that fear of possibility from certain actions. This creates a broader inclusion of acts such as hitting, kicking, choking, grabbing, pinching, shoving, punching and using weapons against the victim.
Sexual abuse: Just because there is a relationship, no person is or should be required to engage in intimate activity with their partner. Forcing another to engage in sexual acts against their will or without their consent is a form of domestic violence, the most extreme of which being attempted or completed rape or sexual offenses.
Verbal threats: Mere words can be a form of Domestic Violence when a person believes that those words may actually come true. Threats of bodily harm such as those described above can leave a person in fear and therefore be an example of Domestic Violence.
False Imprisonment: The freedom to go where you please is not forfeited when you enter a relationship. The option and right is always there, and a person may never confine their partner against that person’s will, accomplished by force or threat of force, or deception.
Stalking: While this may come as a surpise to some, even when no verbal or physical contact has been made, there can still be Domestic Violence. This form includes following or approaching a partner in a manner that the stalker knows or reasonably should have known, the conduct would place another person in reasonable fear that some of the acts above are going to to happen.
As you can see, a very strong factor in many areas of Domestic Violence laws is the idea of fear. Acts by someone in relationship that are meant to cause pain or fear can often be veiwed as domestic violence in the eyes of the law.
Women are often believed to be the majority of victims of domestic abuse because of the misconception that physical abuse is the only example of Domestic Violence. However, many men have also been victims of domestic abuse because of the many different forms that Domestic violence can occur. One act is considered Domestic Violence, and often these acts can occur randomly throughout a relationship. As troubles continue and more problems occur, there may be a gradual increase in abuse occurring. Sometimes, this can elevate to Serious bodily injury or Death.
If you have been charged with or are under investigation for domestic abuse, an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney immediately. The ramifications of even a charge of domestic violence can have a lasting effect on your life. You could be forced to move out of your home and may lose thr right to see your children. Your reputation and endanger your job could also be in danger.
If you have been the victim of Domestic Violence, an attorney may also be able to help you escape the abuse once and for all. In any case, you should be quick to get out of harms way, and take the necessary steps to assure that your abuse will never hurt you again. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NEVER OKAY.
A Maryland Domestic Violence Lawyer can explain your options and help get you through this difficult time in your life. Our Columbia Family Law Attorney will listen to what you have to say, explain your options, and figure out the next step moving forward. CONTACT Fred Antenberg in our Columbia, Maryland Offices to discuss the next steps you should take at 410-730-4404.