What types of behavior can be domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a serious problem in Maryland and the rest of the country. It can affect men and women, the young and old, the gay and straight and family members. Children are often victims, too.

Some people may not be aware of what actions can be called domestic violence. Below, you will find a list of the type of actions that law enforcement can file domestic violence or domestic abuse charges for.

Physical abuse: This may include slapping, pushing, hitting and choking.

Verbal abuse: This may include yelling, swearing, mocking, constantly criticizing, name-calling.

Sexual abuse: This may include demanding sex acts that the other person doesn’t want to participate in, forced sex acts, degrading and demeaning treatment.

Coercion: This may include manipulation, always insisting on his or her way, punishing the other party or children for breaking rules that are impossible to keep.

Isolation: This includes controlling where the other person goes, making it difficult to see family and friends, monitoring all communication, such as phone calls and mail.

Harassment: This can include constantly checking up on the other person, stalking or following.

Threats: This can include intimidation, threats of physical violence, threatening to use a weapon.

Destruction of property: This can include punching walls, abusing a pet or destroying prized possessions.

While men can be victims of domestic violence, about 85 percent of all victims are women. Pregnant women, teenagers and disabled women have a higher risk.

However, it’s important to remember that some alleged victims make up the charges of being abused. It might be that they are in the midst of a divorce and want more in property division or child custody. Perhaps there is another person that they are romantically interested in and want the other person out of their lives. Domestic violence charges carry significant penalties, so it’s vital that the alleged offender fight the charges. Because it is one person’s word against another’s, it’s important to seek advice from an experienced legal professional.

Source: Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, “What Is Domestic Violence?” Dec. 16, 2014