What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a broad term used to describe various threatening crimes in which the victim is a family member, romantic partner or housemate. This includes relatives, children, current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends, individuals who have children together, or people who live in the same home.

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of coercive tactics used with the aim of gaining or maintaining power and control over another person. Although the majority of domestic violence charges involve exercising physical control over the victim and causing physical harm, they can also include abuse that is sexual, emotional, psychological or economic.

Domestic violence can involve a number of different offenses. Crimes that fall under domestic violence include assault, disorderly conduct, harassment, murder, rape, sexual abuse and stalking, among others.

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