Domestic violence may occur in many different ways in California. Abuse is detrimental to a person, whether it’s physical, emotional, sexual or financial. It’s a good idea to learn about what counts as domestic violence to spot it early on and protect yourself.
Physical abuse isn’t just the obvious acts of punching and slapping someone. Shoving, restraining, pinching and threatening physical violence are forms of physical abuse, too. It doesn’t matter what sex you are or the sex of your partner. Hitting or harming another person is physical abuse. Withholding basic needs from your partner like food and medical care are other ways that domestic violence sometimes occurs. The law considers this a form of physical abuse as well as financial abuse.
A partner or family member who regularly puts you down and disregards your feelings is emotionally abusing you. An emotional abuser may embarrass you in front of others, shame you, intimidate you or manipulate you. They might blame you for everything and never accept responsibility.
Being in a relationship with someone doesn’t mean that they can do anything they want to you. All sexual interactions should be consensual. A healthy couple openly discusses their sexual desires and preferences. If you want to try something in the bedroom with them, you need to first ask them if they’re open to it. When someone isn’t interested in trying a sexual act, their partner must respect that rather than try to guilt or coerce them into it.
When a partner doesn’t allow you to have a job, this is a form of financial abuse. They may go as far as sabotaging your attempts to get a job. Other ways that a person may financially abuse you are controlling your paychecks and finances and withholding food and other essentials from you.
Although it’s normal for couples to have disagreements sometimes, the situation shouldn’t escalate into physical violence, threats, manipulation, degradation or other forms of domestic violence. Partners shouldn’t force sexual acts on you or block you from financial freedom, either.