Domestic violence

Definition of Domestic Violence:

a) The Family Law prohibits all forms of violence between family members, regardless of gender and age. Domestic violence includes abuse, harassment, endangering of the safety, physical injury, sexual or other physical or psychological violence that causes a feeling of insecurity, threat or fear towards:- spouse, parents or children or other persons living in married or cohabitating or household; - a former spouse or persons who have child together or are in close personal relationships, including relationships created through adoption and guardianship;- brothers and sisters, half-brothers and sisters - older family members family or household; persons- family members or common household whose ability to work has been partially or completely revoked.

Under close personal relationships in terms of this law are personal relations between persons of different sex who are or have been in partnership, not living in cohabitation.

b) In the Criminal Law, domestic violence is defined as: bullying, rude insulting, threatening the safety, physical injury, sexual or other psychological or physical violence which causes feelings of insecurity, threat or fear toward a spouse, parent, child or other people living in married or extramarital or common household as well as toward former spouse or persons who have a mutual child or are involved in close personal relationships.

Physical Abuse

  • Holding the partner down or preventing the partner from leaving
  • Throwing and/or threatening with objects
  • Locking the partner out of the home
  • Refusal to get the partner help or medical attention
  • Forced use of substances (e.g. alcohol and drugs)
  • Depriving the partner of medication
  • Interfering and control with the partner meeting his basic physical needs (e.g. eating and sleeping)
  • Smashing, damaging, stealing or selling the partner’s possessions
  • Threatening to use or the use of a weapon against the partner (e.g. hammer, knife, gun, etc.)
  • Punching walls or doors
  • Stalking

Emotional Abuse

  • Verbal threats
  • Demeaning the partner in front of friends, family or strangers
  • Name-calling and use of abusive language
  • Constant criticism or humiliation
  • Shouting to intimidate the victim
  • Constantly blaming of the partner
  • Obsessive jealousy and accusations of unfaithfulness
  • Instilling in the partner the belief that “nothing he does will ever be good enough”
  • Abusing or threatening to abuse the partner’s children is included here when the intent is to emotionally harm the partner through the children
  • The abuser harming or threatening to harm himself/herself

Financial Abuse

  • Forbidding the partner to work
  • Jeopardizing the partner’s employment by creating conflict with co-workers, supervisor or clients, forcing the partner to miss work because threats, injuries or coerced substance use
  • Controlling shared resources, including bank accounts and common property
  • Demanding the partner account for all the money he spends
  • Taking credit cards or money
  • Forging the partner’s signature on financial documents
  • Reckless spending money and financial debt

Sexual Abuse

  • Unwanted touching
  • Demeaning remarks about the partner’s body or appearance
  • Minimization of the partner’s sexual needs
  • Berating the partner about his sexual history
  • Forcing sex or sexual actions on the partner without consent
  • Using force or roughness that is not consensual, including forced sex
  • Rape with an object
  • Refusing to comply with the partner’s request for safe sex
  • Coercing the partner into sex with others
  • Exposing the partner to sexually transmitted diseases
  • Treating the partner as a sex object
  • Criticizing sexual performance
  • Unwanted sadistic sexual acts