Family violence occurs when a member of a family or household commits an act toward another member of the family or household that includes physical harm, bodily injury, assault, sexual assault, abuse, or a threat is made resulting in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. Dating violence is also included. Dating violence is any of the previously mentioned actions committed by one person against another whom the person has or had a romantic or intimate relationship with. People also affected by family violence include former spouses, and parents (regardless of marriage) of children. Family violence cases may also include issues regarding stalking and harassment.
The severity of a family violence charge will vary depending upon a person’s prior history with violent crimes. The charge may also be enhanced if a child was injured or a weapon was used during the crime. If there are children in the family, conviction of family violence charges could significantly impact a parent’s future custody and visitation, possibly resulting in a parent being removed from a child’s life. Family violence is a very serious issue that can have negative consequences in regard to family structure and functioning. Family violence can also have negative life-long consequences for the accused when looking for future employment and housing opportunities.