Many people in Pennsylvania who hear references to domestic violence or domestic abuse automatically think only of physical violence. This violence is generally thought of as inflicted by a man on a woman. While this may be the case, what can constitute domestic abuse includes much more than just this stereotype.
According to the State of Pennsylvania, domestic abuse may involve physical violence such as hitting but it may include sexually related actions like rape, aggravated indecent assault, deviate sexual intercourse and more. It is also important for people to know that these charges are defined in part by either the actual infliction of harm or the attempt at such actions. The conscious and willfull intention of one person to hurt or control another is also part of this definition. Additionally, allegation of domestic abuse may involve one person reportedly putting another in a position of fearing harm or injury.
Women as well as men may be accused of domestic violence crimes. Accusers may be of the same or different genders. While many such situations involve current, estranged or former spouses they may also involve other romantic relations, siblings, and other family members or members of the same household. Alleged sexual or physical abuse alleged against a minor may also be classified as a domestic abuse crime or offense.
If you would like to learn more about criminal domestic abuse charges in Pennsylvania, you can feel free to visit the spousal and domestic violence offenses page of our criminal defense website.