Relationship abuse is a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain power and control over a partner, which can manifest in a number of ways, and there’s usually more than one form of abusive behavior occurring in an abusive relationship.
Understanding the various ways that abuse appears and intersects can prepare you to respond to situations safely for yourself and others.
You may be experiencing physical abuse if your partner has or repeatedly does any of the following abusive behaviors:
You may be in an emotionally- or verbally-abusive relationship if your partner attempts to exert control by:
You may be experiencing sexual abuse if your partner has or repeatedly does any of the following:
Sexual coercion lies on the continuum of sexually aggressive behavior, and it may vary in practice from begging and persuasion to forced sexual contact. It may be verbal and emotional through statements made to pressure, guilt, or shame, or it may appear more subtly. Even if your partner isn’t forcing you to perform sexual acts against your will, making you feel obligated to do them at all is coercion in itself.
Being in a relationship—no matter what the arrangement—never means that you owe your partner intimacy of any kind.
Examples of sexually coercive behavior include:
Financial or economic abuse occurs when an abusive partner extends their power and control into your financial situation.
This abuse can take many forms and may include:
Stalking occurs when someone watches, follows, or harasses you repeatedly, making you feel afraid or unsafe, and may occur from someone you know, a past partner, or a stranger.
Common examples of stalking include:
Digital abuse is the use of technology and the Internet to bully, harass, stalk, intimidate, or control a partner. This behavior is often a form of verbal or emotional abuse conducted online.
Digital abuse comes with its own unique concerns and stipulations to consider.
Examples of digitally abusive behavior include:
The Placer County District Attorney's Office Domestic Violence team is part of the Family Protection Unit. This team specializes on prosecuting cases involving various forms of abuse, stalking, and restraining order violations between spouses, dating partners, cohabitants, or co-parents. This dedicated team of Deputy District Attorneys works to hold abusers accountable, find victims justice, help survivors reclaim their voice and find legal options to help keep them safe moving forward.
The Deputy District Attorneys in this unit work closely with the District Attorney's Office's victim advocates to walk with victims every step of the way during the legal process.
California domestic violence laws make it a criminal offense to harm (or threaten to harm) a current or former spouse, cohabitant, co-parent, dating or intimate partner. In some cases, the list of protected persons includes parents, children, and relatives.
In addition to punishment by a jail or prison sentence, the consequences of a California domestic violence conviction can include:
Domestic violence is prevalent in every community, regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, race, religion, or nationality. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and even death. The devastating consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. Seeking justice can help break the cycle of abuse.
For anyone experiencing domestic violence in any form, know that our county has a wealth of resources that can help. Our partner, Stand Up Placer has a 24-hour helpline at 800-575-5352 and has more information at standupplacer.org.
In conjunction with local local law enforcement agencies, the Placer County SART program is also able to perform strangulation exams. Strangulation is considered one of the most dangerous forms of domestic violence.
MDIC (Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center) is a child-focused, friendly place where children of all ages talk with a Child Forensic Interview Specialist about child-related abuse. MDIC will also interview minors who experience teen dating violence, child abuse and more. Learn more
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) represents the 56 state and U.S. territory coalitions against domestic violence. Domestic violence coalitions serve as state-wide and territory-wide leaders in the efforts to end domestic violence. These organizations connect local domestic violence service providers and are valuable resources for information about services, programs, legislation, and policies that support survivors of domestic violence.
Help us to create a public database of Court Ordered Protection/Restraining Orders until a resource, such as Megan's Law, is available to all.
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