What is domestic violence?

man verbally abusing a woman and young girl

Understanding Domestic Abuse

Today, when it comes to domestic violence, states are getting tougher and tougher on the accused. That includes the domestic violence arrest bail amount being increased with more stipulations attached. The hope is that doing so will make those who tend to commit domestic violence think before acting. 

What does “domestic violence” mean?

The Department of Justice defines domestic violence as repetitive abusive behavior in a relationship where one partner gains or maintains control over another partner. In earlier years, domestic violence was thought only to be between a husband and wife. Today, it is recognized that domestic violence is more widespread because it isn’t just wives that are subjected to domestic violence. Arrest bail can be set by a judge for domestic violence against any of the following: 

  • Spouses
  • Partners of Dating/Intimate/Sexual nature
  • Family members including children, in-laws, and relatives
  • Cohabitants

Who defines domestic violence?

In the State of Florida, domestic violence is defined and determined by the arresting officer and supported by state law when any person including a family member or household member commits any of the following against another family member or household member: 

  • Assault or Battery
  • Aggravated assault or battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Stalking/Aggravated stalking
  • False Imprisonment/Kidnapping
  • Any criminal offense causing physical injury or death 

What are some domestic violence examples? 

There are many types of domestic abuse arrest bails that are determined by the courts of Florida every day, including: 

  • Physical Domestic Abuse:  The actions that fall into this category include battering, biting, burning, cutting, hitting, hair pulling, pinching, punching, shoving, slapping, etc. Physical domestic abuse also includes denying a person medical treatment or forcing alcohol/drug use on another person. 
  • Sexual Domestic Abuse: This occurs when one person is coerced into having sexual behavior or contact without their consent by another person or when attempts at coercion are made. This could include an attack on sexual body parts, marital rape, physical violence with forced sex following, being sexually demeaned by another person, or being the subject or target of sexual jokes.
  • Emotional Domestic Abuse: This occurs when one person is deflating or invalidating a person’s self-esteem and/or self-worth. This can be done by constant criticism or name-calling, damaging the relationship between a partner and their children, or hindering another person’s abilities.
  • Economic Domestic Abuse:  This occurs when one person makes another person financially reliant by maintaining all control over financial resources, withholding access to funds, or prohibiting another person to work or attend school. 

Other forms of domestic violence arrest bail are known to be determined when there are psychological threats of hitting, injuring, or using a weapon; stalking by following the victim; harassing, spying, watching, or appearing without notice at one’s home or work; or phone calls, collecting information, sending gifts or written messages, and cyberstalking.  

Are domestic violence cases public record?

In the State of Florida, Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes states that it becomes public record when anyone with domestic violence is arrested and bail has been set by the courts. Domestic violence, or anything where state court proceedings are held, will become public record. The public records are available to anyone. 

What is the difference between domestic violence vs assault?

In Florida, domestic violence arrest and bail issued for an arrest are far-reaching as to what is considered domestic violence. As described above, domestic violence bail can be issued for not only assault and battery, but sex crimes, kidnapping, and stalking as well.

Under Florida law, actual physical acts of violence being committed can include nothing more than the threat of violence. Battery charges are possible when a person  “actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other, or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.”

Additional Notes On Domestic Violence

A judge in Florida will presume that custody of a child should be shared between both parents. Exceptions to this are if that situation would be unfavorable for the child – for example, one parent has been convicted of domestic violence, in which case that parent would not be given custody.  

Even if there hasn’t been a conviction, and only a domestic violence arrest with bail paid and the accused released, the judge will take into consideration any evidence of domestic violence, and child custody will be based accordingly.  

A felony domestic violence charge is warranted when certain types of domestic violence have occurred. Those types of crimes are as follows: 

  • Aggravated assault
  • Domestic battery by strangulation
  • Sexual battery
  • Aggravated stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment

A prior battery conviction can result in a felony charge with subsequent domestic violence violations.

woman being struck by a partner

Stopping Domestic Abuse

A concern all across the country with domestic violence arrests, bails posted, and the accused detained or released is how domestic violence affects the victim. There is no question that domestic violence has become a top health concern and issue in our country today. By understanding the definition of domestic violence, we can all be more effective in taking action against the many manifestations of domestic abuse. 

Often, an abuser doesn’t realize they are guilty of inflicting domestic violence on a loved one, just as a  victim doesn’t always take action against an abuser because they aren’t aware the behavior is domestic violence. Call us at 727-571-9999 to arrange domestic violence arrest bail in St. Petersburg, FL if you have found yourself in need of this service and you can begin the process of bettering yourself and giving your loved one the violence-free relationship you both deserve.