The Different Types of Domestic Violence
New Mexico’s Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
Domestic violence is a broad term that encompasses a range of abusive and coercive behaviors. Some of these result in physical abuse, while others leave emotional and mental scars. While domestic violence occurs too often in households across the United States, it is also a common complaint filed by one spouse to get back at another – even when domestic violence did not occur.
Other times, the defendant did not realize they were being abusive, and are surprised when they are arrested for battery.
It is essential for everyone to understand the various types of abuse. Not only can this help prevent an accusation later, but it can help one identify a domestic situation among family and friends.
What Are the Different Types of Domestic Abuse Seen by Albuquerque Law Enforcement?
When you think of domestic violence, you picture physical injuries and assaults against a victim. However, this is one of many types of domestic violence. In New Mexico, domestic violence is a severe charge that results in long-term consequences. Even if you do not physically strike a spouse or loved one, engaging in any other type of abuse could result in jail or prison time – and a permanent criminal record.
Physical abuse is the most common, and it involves aggressive behavior against the victim. Physical abuse does not always include striking either. In fact, withholding physical needs or creating indirect bodily harm to a person is still considered a form of physical abuse and domestic violence.
Some examples of physical abuse include:
- Physically Harming – Hitting, shaking, pushing, pulling, punching, choking, beating, pulling hair, shooting, stabbing, drowning, threatening with a weapon, or threatening to assault them physically.
- Withholding Needs – Withholding food and water, preventing sleep, denying money, refusing to help when sick or injured, locking victim in a closet or the house, or refusing to give necessities to maintain life.
- Abusing and Threatening – Threatening to injure pets or children in the house or abusing them physically.
- Restraining – Physically and forcibly restraining a victim against their will, trapping them in a room, or holding them down.
- Hostage – Holding a victim hostage and preventing communication with family, friends, or the outside world.
- Damaging Property – Purposely damaging the victim’s property, hitting or kicking walls, doors, and objects in the area.
Emotional Abuse and Intimidation
Another common type of abuse is emotional abuse, which often includes intimidation and control. Some actions that result in emotional abuse include:
- Monitoring – Reviewing phone calls and text messages, reading emails, using tracking devices on vehicles, monitoring odometer for miles driven, and not allowing the victim to receive or make calls.
- Forcing Dependency – Encouraging dependency by making the victim feel like they cannot survive alone, or not allowing them to perform simple tasks alone.
- Not Allowing Freedom – Not allowing the victim the freedom to choose clothing, health matters, or even hairstyle. Forcing the victim to dress in a seductive or specific way.
Sexual abuse can be in conjunction with the forms of abuse mentioned above, or on its own. Even if a spouse consented to sexual activity in the past, that does not excuse forcing future sexual encounters.
Sexual abuse can be verbal and physical and include:
- Forcing Sexual Acts – Forcing or coercing or otherwise manipulating the victim into sexual acts that they would not have done voluntarily, including prostitution.
- Exploiting – Exploiting a victim who cannot make decisions alone, such as forcing sexual activity while being intoxicated, drugged, disabled, or too afraid to deny the batterer.
- Insulting – Making fun of, using offensive statements, or name-calling for the victim’s sexual preferences.
- Taunting – Engaging in sexual acts with other parties and using those actions to taunt the victim.
- Accusing – Accusing the victim of infidelity, controlling their ability to contact the outside world, and being overly jealous.
Financial abuse may not be obvious – but it is a way for a batterer to control their victim fully. Financial abuse takes numerous forms, such as a batterer preventing their victim from taking a job or receiving an education. Another common practice is pooling money into a joint account with the batterer being the only party in control of the finances, and not allowing the victim access to the funds. Thereby, victims are entirely dependent on their batterer, as they have no other access to money.
Today we live in a highly technical age. Some batterers take advantage of technology and use it to stalk and control victims. They may hack into their victim’s email or other accounts online, install tracking apps on phones and computers to monitor activity, limit activity on social media, or demand to know all passwords for their victim’s accounts.
Threatening Is Still Abuse
The mere act of threatening physical violence is considered abuse. You do not have to strike someone to be arrested for domestic violence physically. Because of this, many verbal arguments result in law enforcement being called in and accusations of abuse.
Also, a significant other will call the police after an argument which does not lead to any physical violence – with the express intention of getting back at the other party.
What Is the Penalty for Domestic Violence?
If you were arrested for domestic violence and convicted, the punishments would range from a petty misdemeanor to fourth-degree felony.
- Petty Misdemeanor – Can result in up to six months in jail, and a fine of up to $500.
- Misdemeanor – Carries up to a 1-year jail sentence, and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Fourth Degree Felony – Carries up to 18 months in prison, and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Third Degree Felony – Carries up to three years in prison, and a fine of up to $5,000.
Note that if you are charged with a felony, you lose your right to carry a weapon, and you will bear the burden of a felony conviction – which may prevent you from getting housing, government assistance, or a job.
Accused of Domestic Violence? Speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
If you were arrested for domestic violence, you need to hire an attorney that has experience handling these sensitive cases.
The team at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices will act quickly to prevent a misunderstanding from turning into a permanent scar on your quality of life.
Call us now at 505-375-4765 to request a free consultation or ask us a question online.