Domestic violence is often a confusing situation for law enforcement because it can be difficult to know who is the aggressor in a situation. In addition, law enforcement’s job is made more difficult by people reporting domestic situations that are not actual domestic violence. This can make it hard for an officer to know how to handle a situation. Furthermore, there are many cases in California that go unreported because people do not know exactly what domestic violence is. So, when identifying your situation, it can help to understand its definition.

The California Courts defines domestic violence as abuse towards a relative or partner. To fall in this category, you either need to be blood related or in an intimate relationship with the other person. That is what sets it apart from other crimes, such as assault. On another note, family pets may also be part of a domestic abuse case if someone is hurting them.

Abuse can be almost anything that degrades, hurts, punishes or otherwise threatens you. It can be physical. However, it does not have to be physical. Verbal threats or even just intimidating behavior that makes you feel threatened is also abuse. In addition, someone disturbing your right to live peacefully, such as stalking you or preventing you from leaving your home, also falls into the abuse category.

As you can see, domestic violence covers a lot of ground. It is not just about someone physically hurting you. This is not legal advice. It is for educational use only.