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Domestic violence is a serious issue and a serious crime. Each year, over 40,000 arrests result in Canada from domestic violence. Violence can be an ongoing threat, wherever you are. Therefore, if your spouse is violent, you must take all steps necessary to protect your safety and the safety of your children.Domestic Violence is the term Courts use where you are charged with physical force or violence or even a threat of violence against a family member, spouse or an individual with whom you have a personal relationship. Domestic violence can include emotional or psychological abuse, or harassing or threatening behaviour directed between people with whom there has been a relationship.
Domestic violence is the abuse of one partner within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control a partner. The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual.
Physical Abuse: Physical abuse is the most recognizable form of domestic violence. It involves the use of force against the victim, causing injury (a punch or a kick, stabbing, shooting, choking, slapping, forcing you to use drugs, etc.). However, the injury doesn’t need to be a major one. Physical violence can take the form of, among others, serious and minor assault, deprivation of liberty and manslaughter.
Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is a way to control another person by using emotions to criticize, embarrass, shame, blame, or otherwise manipulate another person. In general, a relationship is emotionally abusive when there is a consistent pattern of abusive words and bullying behaviors that wear down a person’s self-esteem and undermine their mental health. Emotional abuse is any behavior that exploits another’s vulnerability, insecurity, or character. Such behaviors include continuous degradation, intimidation, manipulation, brainwashing, or control of another to the detriment of the individual.
Psychological Abuse: Psychological abuse involves the regular and deliberate use of a range of words and non-physical actions used with the purpose to manipulate, hurt, weaken or frighten a person mentally and emotionally; and/or distort, confuse or influence a person’s thoughts and actions within their everyday lives, changing their sense of self and harming their wellbeing. Psychological abuse involves a person’s attempts to frighten, control, or isolate you. It’s in the abuser’s words and actions, as well as their persistence in these behaviors. The abuser could be your spouse or other romantic partner. They could be your business partner, parent, or a caretaker.
Financial Abuse: When we talk about relationship abuse, we typically focus on physical and emotional mistreatment. But financial abuse or the control of one’s ability to acquire, use and maintain money by an intimate partner occurs in up to 99 percent of domestic violence cases. ‘Financial abuse’ as a type of abuse which includes having money or other property stolen, being defrauded, being put under pressure in relation to money or other property and having money or other property misused.
Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse is an act of violence which the attacker uses against someone they perceive as weaker than them. It does not come from an uncontrollable sex drive, but is a crime committed deliberately with the goal of controlling and humiliating the victim. It can also refer to behavior that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including oral sex, rape or restricting access to birth control and condoms.
Depending on the nature of the assault, such as a sexual assault or an assault with a weapon, the sentence could be an absolute discharge, all the way up to 10 years jail time if the assault involved a weapon or caused bodily harm. Sentences for domestic assault are dealt with under Section 265 and 266 of the Canadian Criminal Code. When an individual is facing domestic assault charges, it will appear simply as an assault charge.
If this is a first-time offense and considered a minor domestic assault charge, your punishment may not be as severe, with no jail time served. An experienced criminal lawyer that specializes in these types of assault charges will be able to vigorously fight them for you. It’s not recommended that you defend yourself in criminal court.
Offenders who are convicted of more serious forms of domestic assault are also likely to receive ancillary orders, such as a DNA order or firearms prohibition. A DNA order requires the offender to submit samples of DNA to a national database that can be accessed by police officers across Canada.
Targeting domestic violence cases is one of the top priorities for police and prosecutors in Ontario. The federal and provincial governments have declared domestic violence a “zero-tolerance” crime. Statistics Canada, in its comprehensive Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, found that 1 in 5 violent offences are domestic in nature, as are 1 in every 4 homicides.
When your lawyer determines that the police report is consistent with your defense, she will gather evidence to reinforce it. Domestic violence defenses fall into seven main categories:
Domestic violence crimes are quite common. Disputes can often occur within a household, and they could potentially lead harsh punishments under the law. Have you, or someone you may know, been pressed with a domestic violence charge, or any other type of, criminal offense, we can help. If you are facing domestic assault charges, it is strongly recommended that you contact the experienced criminal defence lawyers.
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