What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence may take many forms. Generally, domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior in which one person attempts to control another through threats or actual use of tactics, which may include any or all of the following: physical, sexual, verbal and psychological abuse.
Under the law, “abuse” means that any of the following have occurred between people who are “family, household members or dating partners”:
- Attempting to cause or causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact;
- Attempting to place or placing another in fear of bodily injury through any course of conduct, including, but not limited to, threatening, harassing or tormenting behavior;
- Compelling, by force, threat of force, or intimidation, a person to engage in conduct, such as causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, or to abstain from conduct in which they have a right to engage;
- Restricting another person’s movement, by knowingly removing them from home, work or school, or moving them a substantial distance from where they were found, or confining the person;
- Placing a person in reasonable fear that a crime will be committed by threatening them or another person that they will be committing a crime of violence against the person; or
- Repeatedly and without reasonable cause following a person or being in the vicinity of their work, school or home (19-A Me. Rev. Stat. sec. 4002(1)).