When it comes to domestic violence cases, investigators often find that a pattern of abuse preceded the act of violence. Abuse, and to some extent, domestic violence, come in many forms, including physical and emotional, but that is only scratching the surface as far as what constitutes this crime that afflicts over 10 million men and women annually.
Understanding what qualifies as domestic violence is important, as is reflecting on your behavior to see if you are engaging in abusive conduct. As the definition continues to broaden, your conduct could fall in line with one of the lesser-known types of abuse such as sexual coercion, reproductive coercion, financial abuse, or digital abuse. If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, consult a domestic violence defense attorney in Tampa from The Rickman Law Firm.
1. Sexual Coercion
Sexual coercion is a lesser-known type of sexually aggressive behavior that doesn’t rely on physical dominance. If your intent is to persuade someone into having forced sexual contact with you, rather by chiding them to do so or making emotional appeals, you could be employing sexual coercion as an abuse tactic. Typically, sexual coercion is a subtle act that is used to make the victim feel pressure, guilt, or shame.
2. Reproductive Coercion
When a child is born, the parents often feel a natural urge to stay together for the benefit of the child’s upbringing. Unfortunately, attempting to coerce, or even force, another person to have a child with you constitutes reproductive coercion and, ultimately, abuse. Some examples of reproductive coercion include:
- Refusal to use a condom or contraceptive
- Intentionally breaking or covertly removing a condom during sexual intercourse
- Lying about the methods of birth control being utilized
- Refusing to “pull out”
- Forcing/preventing an abortion
- Repeatedly getting a person pregnant as a means of controlling them
3. Financial Abuse
Financial abuse, or economic abuse, occurs when an abusive partner utilizes their financial power to control the other. This is another type of abuse that has countless forms, but some of the most common include:
- Controlling paychecks
- Refusing to allow a partner to spend money
- Controlling a partner’s bank accounts or restricting them from viewing their bank information
- Ruining credit scores
- Stealing from a child’s savings
- Restricting the ability to work, thereby limiting financial freedom
- Withholding money to the detriment of a partner (health, basic necessities, etc.)
4. Digital Abuse
Lastly, digital abuse is a relatively new term that is becoming more and more common as more people rely on the internet for their daily needs and entertainment. Generally, digital abuse occurs through texting or social media and includes bullying, harassing, stalking, or intimidating a partner through applications like iMessage, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. There are many types of digital abuse, including:
- Controlling online actions like adding friends, following profiles, liking content, and more
- Sending negative, insulting, deprecating, or threatening messages
- Utilizing social media to stalk
- Commenting negatively about the poster on public posts
- Sending inappropriate, explicit, or unwanted pictures
- Requesting explicit content
- Looking through a partner’s phone obsessively
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.