What is domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is the physical harm or the threat of physical harm to family or household members. This may include:
- People who have a child in common whether or not they reside or have resided together.
- A spouse, an ex-spouse, child, stepparent, stepchild, or another blood relative residing in the residence, this may include siblings, parents and grandparents.
- Boyfriend or girlfriend of the abuser, who does not have a child in common, but have lived together within the past five years. This also includes same-sex couples.
What is Abuse?
Abuse is the pattern of physical, emotional violence and coercive behaviors to gain power and control over another. Types of abuse include physical, verbal insults, emotional abuse, financial deprivation, threats or sexual violence.
Examples of abuse:
- Causing physical pain: hitting, pulling hair, slapping, pinching, biting
- Using a weapon or threatening to use a weapon
- Put downs ridiculing. criticizing, blaming
- Isolating from family, friends.
- Monitoring phone conversation, car mileage, constant phone calls
- Abusing pets Verbal
- Name calling
- Belittling comments
- Threatening to hurt or kill
- Controlling money/bank accounts
- Withholding finances to meet household bills; children’s needs
- Withholding financial information
- Put on an allowance
- Forcing unwanted sex
- Wanting sex after abuse
- Making demeaning sexual remarks
- Forcing the viewing of pornographic material
What is the “Cycle of Violence”?
The cycle of violence has three phases. It begins with tension building phase. Family members feel as though they have to walk on “egg-shells”. The abuse occurs in the second stage. There be physical, emotional and verbal abuse. Lastly is the “honeymoon” phase. The abuser is sorry and swears the abuse will never happen again.
Does Domestic Violence Affect Children?
Children Living in Domestic Violence are often not able to be children, but instead live in fear. Children react in various ways to family violence. A child may be aggressive and seems “out of control” or complaisant and the “perfect child”. A child’s ability to survive such a home environment will be determined by how the child learns to cope and deal with the stress of living in a violent family. What or who are their support systems. This may include family members, friends, and other adults, for example teachers, ministers, group leaders.
Children may have feelings of guilt, shame, fear, anger and powerless. Behaviors that may be exhibited include: aggression; loss of concentration; self-doubt; fear of achieving; sadness; distrustful; over achiever; responsible for family members, siblings, parents.
What Is Stalking?
Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention, harassment and contact. It is a pattern of conduct that can include:
- Following the victim
- Appearing at the victim's home or place of work
- Making unwanted and frightening contact with the victim through phone, mail and/or email
- Harassing the victim through the Internet
- Making threats to harm the victim, the victim's children, relatives, friends or pets
- Sending the victim unwanted gifts
- Intimidating the victim
- Vandalizing the victim's property
- Securing personal information about the victim by accessing public records, hiring private investigators, using Internet search services, contacting friends, family, work or neighbors, or going through the victim's garbage.
Cyber Stalking is the use of the Internet, e-mail or other telecommunications technology to harass or stalk another person. Read the brochure "Protect Yourself from Technology Abuse" from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network for information on how you can protect yourself from this type of stalking.
Stalking is a Crime
Menacing by stalking is the act of a person who knowingly engages in a pattern of conduct that causes you to believe that the offender (stalker) will cause you physical harm or causes mental distress to you.
- "Pattern of Conduct" means two or more actions or incidents occur in a short period of time
- "Mental Distress" means any mental illness or condition that would normally require counseling. However, counseling is NOT required to obtain legal remedies.
If a person follows, pursues, or harasses you in a threatening manner on more than one occasion, this person may be guilty of stalking under Ohio law. Contact local law enforcement to report all stalking incidents.
What is a Protection Order?
Temporary Protection Orders
A Temporary Protection Order (TPO) is available only when a criminal complaint, such as domestic violence, has been filed. A TPO can order the abuser to stay away from the victim's residence, workplace and school. It can order the abuser to refrain from telephoning, harassing or threatening the victim directly or through another person. It can also include any other terms necessary to ensure the victim's safety.
A TPO is granted by a Municipal or Common Pleas Court judge and the victim may need to attend the arraignment to receive one. This order is only in effect while the case is pending - until dismissal or sentencing. A TPO is enforceable nationwide and a violation is a criminal offence.
Civil Protection Order
A Civil Protection Order (CPO) is issued by the Common Pleas Court. No criminal charges need to be filed but the family/household member must feel that her/his life is in danger. A CPO may order the abuser to stay away from the victim's residents, workplace or school. (It can also order the abuser to leave the house or apartment the victim and abuser live in, even if it is in the abuser's name). A CPO may order the abuser to refrain from abusing, telephoning, harassing or threatening the victim directly or through another person. In regards to the child(ren), a judge may grant temporary custody, order child support and establish a visitation schedule.
Civil Stalking Protection Order
A Civil Stalking Protection Order is similar to a civil protection order. It can protect victims who are NOT family or household members of the abuser. Documentation of at least two incidents is required. A Criminal Stalking Order is comparable to a TPO when criminal stalking/menacing charges are filed.
For information on local resources; safety planning; protection orders, please contact First Step at 740-622-8504.