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Domestic violence goes beyond physical harm

Alaska has some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the U.S. It counts for a large portion of violent crime in the state.

Individuals dealing with a domestic violence case may receive years of prison time and hefty fines. However, it is important to note that it does not only cover acts of physical violence.

Psychological and emotional abuse is domestic violence

An accusation of domestic violence can also refer to acts of psychological and emotional abuse. Some forms of abuse which count as domestic violence include:

  • Verbal abuse: Using speech to intimidate someone such as a partner or household member is a form of domestic violence. This can be shouting, threatening language, discrimination and even bullying.
  • Psychological abuse: Isolating someone, depriving them of love and affection, emotional manipulation, gaslighting and destroying personal objects can be harmful to a person’s psychological health.
  • Sexual abuse: Domestic abuse can also manifest itself through unsafe sexual acts or influencing a person’s choices when it comes to their own body. Some examples include pressuring someone to take birth control, making someone watch pornography, exposing one’s own genitals to someone else or taking non-consensual photos or videos of someone.

These actions can prompt a court to issue a protective order on behalf of a victim.

Consequences of a court-issued protective order

A court-issued protective order may require a person to do the following:

  • Stop contacting the protected person
  • Stay away from the protected person
  • Stay away from their place of work and residence
  • Restrict gun ownership

Domestic violence is a serious offense. A person charged with it could face severe penalties, jail time and even social consequences. Knowing what actions can constitute domestic violence may be helpful in forming an effective legal defense.