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Is domestic violence just between married couples?

by | Jun 30, 2021 | Criminal Defense

When people discuss domestic violence, they often do it in a way that indicates that married couples allow their disagreements to escalate to a physical level. The common cliche is a husband who is abusive toward his wife, though this can certainly work in both directions — a wife who is abusive toward her husband — and it can also happen with same-sex couples. 

But is the idea of violence between two married couples too limiting? Can an incident between anyone else qualify as domestic violence? 

A wider range of potential involvement

As you may suspect, confining this to marriage is far too limiting. The United Nations says that domestic violence can happen “within a range of relationships.” They note that the individuals could be dating, could be married or could be living together without first getting married.

Under New York Law, domestic violence can occur between:

  • Couples, both married and divorced
  • People who have a child in common (natural or adopted)
  • People related by marriage (like in-laws)
  • People who are biologically related (such as siblings or cousins)
  • Unrelated people who are or were in intimate relationships
  • People who live together or have lived together

Overall, it’s best to think of domestic violence as something that happens in a single home. It doesn’t necessarily matter how the exact relationships of those living together are defined. When some sort of violent act takes place, charges may be filed.

Are you facing domestic violence allegations?

If any of the people noted above have accused you of domestic violence, you need to know what legal options you have, as these are very serious charges that can alter your life.