Are Spousal Abuse And Domestic Violence The Same Thing?

Are Spousal Abuse And Domestic Violence The Same Thing?

by Feb 26, 2020Domestic Violence

When talking about domestic violence, there are a lot of terms that are often used either synonymously or interchangeably to mean the same thing. In regards to spousal abuse, that is one type of abuse, among many others, that all fall under the umbrella of domestic violence in general.

From a practical perspective, it’s fair to use the terms spousal abuse and domestic violence interchangeably. From a legal perspective, however, domestic violence encompasses a much wider range of abusive behaviors and victims.


What Is Spousal Abuse?

Spousal abuse is generally defined as any abusive conduct between intimate partners who are married, dating, or residing in the same residence. It doesn’t matter if there’s only one instance of abusive behavior or an ongoing pattern.

The most common types of abusive conduct include things like:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Psychological abuse

These behaviors are common across all types of domestic violence and are not limited to spousal abuse alone.

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Spousal Abuse vs Domestic Violence

Domestic violence includes violence against people other than just a spouse or domestic partner. Child abuse is a type of domestic violence, as is abusing a family member or relative who is not a child or spouse.

For example, someone who physically abuses both their spouse and their child is guilty of both spousal abuse and child abuse. These types of abuse would both fall under the larger legal umbrella of domestic violence.


Getting Help For Domestic Violence

One of the fastest and easiest options to help end all types of domestic violence is to get what’s known as a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, or DVRO. A DVRO can be issued by any judge and can last anywhere from a few days to five years, depending on the type of order issued.

Other resources, like the National Domestic Violence Hotline, are available as well.

If you need help dealing with a legal issue relating to domestic violence or obtaining a restraining order, please contact us as soon as possible.


At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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