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What is Considered Domestic Violence?


Understanding the Types of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a complex crime, and abuse can come in many different forms. For this reason, it is important to understand just what domestic violence encompasses before understanding what your rights are as a victim of a crime of domestic violence but also as someone accused of the crime of domestic violence.

Forms of Abuse

In the State of Nevada, the crime of battery domestic violence (BDV) is defined as intentionally inflicting unlawful physical force against a family member, a spouse, a dating partner or a housemate.

Domestic violence can include spousal abuse which is abuse or violence between a husband and wife, a girlfriend or boyfriend or a same sex couple. The violence can include many different types of actions, which are explored in more depth below. Many times, domestic violence will include rape or assault, which involves forced or pressured sexual acts.

Child abuse is another form of domestic violence perpetrated on a child by his or her parent, grandparent, step-parent or significant other of the parent.

Elder abuse is another common form of domestic violence and includes abuse perpetrated on senior citizens by their children, grandchildren or someone else who is living with and caring for the victim.

In addition, stalking or cyber-stalking is another form of abuse putting the victim in fear for his or her life.

Common Types of Abuse

The State of Nevada considers domestic violence to be a crime involving the use of power, coercion and violence to control another person. Because the law is fairly broad in terms of what type of behavior is considered abuse, it encompasses much more than physical violence.

For this reason, domestic violence includes the following:

  • Physical abuse: Domestic violence includes any intentional and unwanted physical contact on or near another person’s body that is used to harm that person or instill fear for his or her safety. Common behavior includes slapping, pushing, choking, burning or throwing objects at the victim.

  • Digital abuse: A new form of abuse has been perpetrated as technology has advanced, and this form is digital abuse. It includes the use of technology to harass, stalk or blackmail another person into becoming dependent on the perpetrator. Many abusers will use technology to tell their victims who they can be friends with on social media. Abusers will also demand access to the victim’s phone and his or her password to all accounts and other devices. The abuser may also track his or her victim through apps connect to his or phone and other devices. The abuser may also use photos that were sent to him or her in confidence against the victim, as is the situation in “revenge porn” or posting explicit pictures of the victim.

  • Sexual abuse: Domestic violence also includes sexual abuse, which is an act that coerces another person to do something sexually, whether the act affects the victim’s ability to control the circumstances of the sexual activity. Sexual abuse includes rape or attempted rape, as well as pressuring someone to have sex or perform sexual acts. Another form is when the abuser refuses to use a condom or removes it without the other person’s knowledge. If one party knows the other is intoxicated to the point that he or she is not able to consent to sex but still has sex with that person, this behavior is also sexual abuse.

  • Emotional or verbal abuse: Another common form of domestic violence is emotional or verbal abuse, which includes threats, insults, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or constant monitoring of the victim. One form of emotional abuse is “gaslighting,” which is manipulating another person to the point where he or she questions his or her feelings or sanity. It happens when the abuser continually trivializes or denies the abusive behavior. In many situations, the abuser will threaten to hurt himself or herself or harm someone else if the victim does not stay in the relationship.

  • Financial abuse: It is estimated that 98 percent of abusive relationships involve financial abuse, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Financial abuse includes behavior that makes or attempts to make the victim financially dependent on the abuser. In many abusive relationships, this behavior involves preventing the other person to work or making him or her habitually late to work in hopes that he or she will lose a job. Financial abuse also includes the abuser using a person’s Social Security number to ruin his or her credit.

  • Stalking: In the State of Nevada, stalking involves “a person who, without lawful authority, willfully or maliciously engages in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household.” Stalking can include the abuser continually calling the other person and hanging up, showing up at that person’s job or home unannounced and unwanted, leaving unwanted gifts or using other individuals to investigate the victim’s life. Cyber-stalking is a form of stalking, which includes creating and using fake social media accounts for the purpose of looking at the victim’s social media feeds and keeping tabs on him or her.

Domestic violence can include more than just one form of abuse, and often times, the abuser perpetrates a combination of many of the above forms of abuse. Just because physical evidence is not there, and the abuse is more hidden, such as emotional or financial abuse, does not make it any more real or significant.

Contact Us Today

If you are the victim of domestic violence or are being accused of domestic violence, let Dan and his team go to work for you. Call 24/7 to schedule a free consultation: (702) 848-5000

Dan Hill