Domestic Violence Services Network, Inc.
Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, call your local hotline, and / or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE.
Defining Domestic ViolenceMany people think that domestic violence is when a husband hits his wife. While this is often true, domestic violence means much more than physical harm.
Massachusetts LawIn the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the law states that domestic violence has occurred if any of these events:
- Attempts to cause physical harm
- Causes physical harm
- Places another in fear of physical harm, or
- Causes another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress
- Dating partner
- Household member
- Married or formerly married partner
- Parent of a child in common
- Relative by blood or marriage
DVSN's Domestic Violence DefinitionDVSN's definition of domestic violence includes the legal definition stated above and also includes other forms of abuse. At DVSN, domestic violence is defined as a pattern of coercive control that one individual intermittently exerts over another by means of:
- Economic abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Spiritual abuse