Anthony M. Salerno

Attorney At Law

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Anthony M. Salerno

Attorney At Law

What is the legal definition of domestic abuse?

Being accused of domestic abuse in any context is a very serious issue, which is why it is crucial for those accused of this crime to have as much information as possible leading up to their court case. Even if you feel the accusation is without merit, you must take the proper steps to present your case satisfactorily to ensure the best possible outcome. 

For a person to be charged with domestic abuse, certain factors must first be considered. Here are some important things to understand about domestic violence and other crimes in Massachusetts. 

A domestic relationship is one that involves spouses, partners (meaning two unmarried people who are cohabiting), relations by blood or marriage, and people who have one or more children together (regardless if they are/were married, or if they live or have lived in the same home in the past). Additionally, domestic abuse is defined as an attempt to cause physical harm or actually causing harm to another person, or making a credible enough threat that another person is in fear for their physical safety. Forcing a person via threats or actual violence to involuntarily perform sexual acts is also considered domestic abuse. 

Stalking can also be claimed in domestic abuse cases. According to Massachusetts law, stalking is defined as a pattern of repeated behaviors directed at a specific person that can be construed as malicious or threatening. Stalking can occur in person, via phone, through the mail, or any other means of communication or message transmittal. Stalking also involves a legitimate threat against the target. For instance, the person must be in reasonable fear of their own personal safety based on the language or communication conveyed by the accused. 

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