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Research has indicated that many victims of domestic violence have experienced stalking behavior from a current or former intimate partner.
Examples of stalking behaviors include following the victim, sending unwanted gifts and notes, repeated harassment such as phone calls or showing up at the victim’s place of work, and other behaviors that a stalker uses to inappropriately invade the victim’s life.
Additional examples of psychological violence include stalking; limiting or controlling the victim’s activities or behaviors; isolating the victim from contact with friends or family; limiting or denying the victim’s access to basic or financial resources; destroying the victim’s personal property; abusive behavior toward a victim’s loved ones; verbal threats; humiliation; put-downs; and any other behaviors intended to cause emotional pain, embarrassment, diminishment, or powerlessness.
A relationship does not have to include all of the above behaviors in order to be considered abusive; a partner who attempts to wield dominance and control within a relationship through any threat or act of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse is committing an act of domestic violence.
While the statutory term for domestic violence in most states usually includes other family members besides intimate partners, such as children, parents, siblings, sometimes roommates, and so forth, practitioners typically apply the term domestic violence to a coercive, systemic pattern of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse between intimate partners.
Furthermore, sexual intimacy is not required to be present in a relationship in order for domestic violence to occur.
It is also important to note that while a few of the above behaviors are not necessarily prosecutable in criminal court, they nevertheless constitute abuse.
As defined by the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC, 2008), stalking is “a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention, harassment, and contact.” Today, stalking is considered to be an example of abusive behavior within the framework of domestic violence because the dangers that victims face frequently continue even after they leave an abusive relationship.
Other forms of domestic violence include stalking and dating violence.As previously mentioned, physical, sexual, and psychological violence, stalking, and dating violence are different types of abuse experienced by victims of domestic violence on a daily basis. Physical violence involves the use of force, possibly resulting in physical harm, disability, or death.Examples of physical abuse include hitting, scratching, shoving, grabbing, biting, throwing, choking, shaking, kicking, burning, physical restraint, use of a weapon, or otherwise causing intentional physical injury to the victim.Sexual violence occurs when one forces or compels a person to engage in a sexual act or experiences sexual contact against his or her will.If a participant cannot communicate an understanding of and willingness to engage in a sexual act for any reason, including but not limited to disability, illness, and alcohol or drug intoxication, and the sex act is nonetheless attempted or completed by a perpetrator, an act of sexual violence transpires.