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Domestic violence comes in many forms and for those involved in family violence, and needing to access legal resources and help, it is important to understand what the law considers domestic violence. Legal resources are available for anyone impacted by domestic violence.

Domestic violence is typically thought of as physical violence. While the definition of domestic violence includes physical violence, it is not limited to physical violence alone. Physical violence that may be considered domestic violence can include pushing, punching, hitting, kicking, slapping, pinching and other forms of violent contact. Sexual abuse is also considered domestic violence and can include marital rape or other coerced sexual behavior without consent.

Additionally, there are several other types of abuse that are considered domestic abuse. Emotional abuse that includes sustained criticism with the goal of diminishing self-worth and self-esteem may can be considered domestic abuse. Economic abuse, or creating financial reliance and denying financial independence, are also forms of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse also includes psychological abuse, threats and stalking, harassing and cyberstalking behaviors and activities. Domestic violence can impact anyone and can include spouses, dating partners and intimate partners, cohabitants, family members and children.

Domestic violence can be challenging in families, communities and for society as a whole which is why the legal process provides valuable legal resources and recourse for anyone impacted by domestic abuse to be familiar with. This can include defenses against allegations of domestic abuse or protections from domestic abuse. Whatever the family situation is, those impacted should be familiar with the legal resources available to help them.