Domestic violence and domestic abuse are two common terms that are typically used to describe various unlawful acts in a court of law. There is a thin line between the term domestic violence and domestic abuse. Different statutes may have a slightly varying definition of domestic violence and abuse, but most of the definitions have similar descriptions.
The US Department of Justice defines domestic violence as crimes of violence and felonies done by a current or former partner, cohabiting partner, spouse, or intimate partner to the victim. However, some statues, including Arizona’s, also include children victims as part of domestic violence. Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence regardless of gender, sex, age, race, or religion.
Domestic violence further includes attempts or intentionally causing the physical injury to a victim. It also incorporates the physical, psychological, and sexual harassment of a victim. If a partner also inflicts fear either by threats, battery, economic exploitation, this is also termed domestic violence. The broadness of the term abuse necessitates one to be specific on what type of abuse was involved.
The term domestic abuse is slightly broader than domestic violence. Domestic abuse is not limited to two partners or spouses, but it further extends to other parties such as children, career mates, or non-related parties.
Domestic abuse can include coercive control, economic abuse, digital abuse or bullying, and harassment. Other acts such as psychological abuse, physical and sexual abuse, are included as both domestic abuse and domestic violence.
Statistics of Domestic Violence and Abuse
In the US, domestic conflict is more common in women than men. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence records that 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence. On the other hand, 1 in 9 men are victims of domestic violence. In matters concerning domestic abuse, the most common forms of abuse in the US are physical, sexual, and emotional. These three forms of abuse also commonly experienced acts in domestic violence cases.
The term abuse is a general term. It is not necessarily limited to individuals, but it also includes other non-living aspects. Abuse of office is a good example that is not essentially limited to an individual. Abuse of office refers to the wrongful use of an official position in denying others their right or using the office for selfish gains. Another form of abuse is the abuse of a substance. Substance abuse typically refers to the illegal use of drugs.
Domestic abuse is also a form of mistreatment that happens in domestic relationships. On the other hand, domestic violence is only limited to individuals who have some form of interaction, relation, or cohabitation. The victim involved in domestic violence is inflicted with mental, sexual, or physical pain.
The legal services required for domestic violence cases are quite like those of domestic abuse. Domestic violence victims and offenders require a lawyer for domestic violence. Different lawyers are needed for each case since there are various forms of mistreatment. A litigant needed in a case of abuse of office is essentially different from sexual.
For cases dealing with substance abuse, one may need an attorney that deals in that area. If you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, the best attorney to represent you would be a DUI lawyer. A DUI lawyer is better experienced in dealing with driving under influence cases than a domestic violence lawyer.
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Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law
10601 N Hayden Rd, #I-103
Scottsdale, AZ 85260