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Domestic violence: Do you know what it is?

Many people have heard the phrase "domestic violence," but some don't fully understand what this is.

In short, this is the abuse or a threat of abuse when the victim and the abuser have an intimate relationship, such as being married or dating.

Domestic violence laws consider abuse to be any of the following:

-- Physical harm or attempting to cause physical harm.

-- Sexual assault.

-- Making somebody afraid that they will be seriously injured.

-- Behavior that includes threatening, stalking, harassing, or hitting.

When it comes to physical abuse, there are many forms to be aware of. In addition to hitting, this can include shoving, pushing, kicking, throwing objects, and pulling hair. Along with this, it also pertains to a situation in which a person is prohibited from freely coming and going.

Finally, there is more to domestic violence than physical harm. Abuse can also be emotional, verbal, or psychological. In some cases, abuse takes on many forms, such as when a person is physically abused while also facing an emotional lashing.

If you find yourself stuck in a relationship that is full of abuse, it's time to get out. Not only will this change your life for the better, but it will ensure that you don't suffer any more injury, physical or emotional, in the future.

Once you learn more about domestic violence laws and your legal rights, you'll have a better idea of what you can do next. For example, you may be able to file for a restraining order as to keep the person out of your life.

Source: California Courts: The Judicial Branch of California, "Domestic Violence," accessed Dec. 09, 2016

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