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    Is Verbal Abuse Considered Domestic Violence in California?

    Posted on: November 18th, 2021 by Dod Law

    Verbal abuse, in the legal sense, refers to using words to cause a victim harm. Verbal abuse takes many forms and looks different in every situation. One person’s social media tirade is another person’s walk in the park. Verbal abuse can berate or belittle a victim, but does it rise to the level of domestic abuse?

    Verbal abuse can amount to domestic abuse. This is called domestic verbal abuse, and it occurs when two people live in the same household with an intimate relationship. Domestic verbal abuse can occur between spouses, two people who used to date, and people who have had a child together. Domestic verbal abuse also can take place between people who are related by blood or by marriage.

    Verbal Abuse Is Domestic Violence

    California’s definition of domestic violence includes spoken, emotional, and psychological abuse. Examples of such abuse include:

    • Stalking
    • Isolating
    • Threatening/intimidating the victim
    • Controlling
    • Giving the silent treatment
    • Shaming/guilt-tripping
    • Embarrassing/humiliating the victim
    • Name-calling

    Verbal abuse can have long-lasting emotional, psychological, and/or mental effects that can be as serious as the effects of physical abuse. The effects of abuse can keep you from leading a productive life. Verbal abuse has been known to exacerbate other mental health conditions, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression, or even trauma.

    What Counts as Verbal or Emotional Abuse?

    Verbal abuse takes a variety of forms. If you are asking a court for help, your complaint must be worded carefully. Verbal and emotional abuse have been known to accompany physical or sexual abuse, though this is not always the case. “Battered Woman Syndrome” is an example of an extreme reaction to years of abuse, but it does not always have verbally abusive elements to it. It should be noted that children also suffer when they observe a parent or sibling being abused.

    Symptoms of an emotionally or verbally abusive relationship include:

    • The abuser calls you names (e., worthless, ugly, or stupid) or belittles you in other ways to make you feel inferior.
    • You are constantly or frequently anxious and afraid to upset your abuser.
    • The abuser tricks, persuades, or cajoles you into performing humiliating tasks or sexual acts.
    • The abuser stops or restricts you from seeing or contacting your friends and family.

    Insulting someone online during the course of a multiplayer game does not count, legally, as being verbally abusive. However, if you say, “I’m going to kill you if dinner is not ready by 6:00pm,” that clearly qualifies as verbal abuse. The person who makes that kind of threat can be charged with domestic violence.

    Defending against Verbal Abuse Charges

    Without a video or an audio recording, proving verbal abuse is much more difficult than proving physical violence. Without a recording, such a case will boil down to a he-said/she-said situation.

    If there is no documented proof of the verbal abuse, and the accused person does not have a prior record, it will be incredibly difficult for an alleged victim to press charges. Consequently, someone who is charged with domestic verbal abuse will have a stronger defense if there is no documented proof of the alleged abuse and no prior record of abuse.

    Contact the Passionate San Diego Attorneys at Dod Law, APC If You Have Been Charged with Verbal Abuse

    If you have been charged with domestic verbal abuse, you need a skilled attorney on your side to help you defend yourself. Do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Dod Law, APC. Attorney Dod has been helping Californians for over seventeen years. With over 6,500 cases under his belt, Attorney Dod and his dedicated team can help you defend your rights and liberty.

    You deserve quality representation in the face of domestic abuse charges. Your future is at stake, and you cannot postpone the hiring of a good domestic violence lawyer much longer. Find out how Attorney Dod can support your case by calling (619) 814-5110 for a free consultation or by completing our contact form.

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