All relationships have their ups and downs. People argue, people make up and people move on. However, when a rocky relationship becomes physically abusive, many people recognize that domestic violence is occurring. Under California law it is never alright for one partner to physically assault another. People should feel safe in their relationships even if and when they fight.
However, according to the California Courts, physical violence is not the only conduct that can constitute domestic violence. Broadly speaking, under California law domestic abuse occurs between people in an intimate relationship. This can include between a married couple, a dating couple, a couple who has broken up, roommates or members of the same family.
First, people need to know that even the threat of violence can be considered domestic abuse. Physical violence -- such as shoving, punching, pushing, hair-pulling, hitting or restricting a person's movements -- is also domestic assault. Sexual violence, stalking or disturbing a person's peace are also forms of domestic assault.
Furthermore, California residents need to know that other forms of domestic violence exist. Emotional, psychological and financial abuse can also occur. A perpetrator can use a variety of scare tactics to control another person. This control and power is used as a form of abuse. These actions create a sense of fear and powerlessness in victims, even when no physical violence is present.
If people are in an abusive relationship, there are legal protections in place that could help them. The right approach can help people keep themselves and their children safe from violence and other forms of domestic assault.