What is Domestic Violence? Bakersfield


What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is defined by statute in Bakersfield California by California Penal Code 243(e)(1) When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant's child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship, the battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of the sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that the defendant participate in, for no less than one year, and successfully complete, a batterer's treatment program, as described in Section 1203.097, or if none is available, another appropriate counseling program designated by the court.

This excerpt was also incorporated in the ‘Violence Against Women Act of 1994', by the section 3a, included in the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005. It is also applicable for purposes in section 775 in subpart 17 of the part D in chapter V of chapter 70, title 20 and the section 1437F of subchapter I in chapter 8 in title 42, as well as the subchapter XII-H of chapter 46 of title 42 of the U.S. Code.

The OVW {Office on Violence Against Women) of the U.S. has defined domestic violence as an abusive behavior that exists in any intimate relationship and is exercised by one of the two partners in the relationship for gaining or maintaining power, as well as control over the other partner. According to the definition, domestic violence or acts involving physical and sexual abuse can take place with anyone irrespective of their age, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation and it can take several forms, such as sexual, verbal, economic, physical, psychological and emotional abuse.


The basic purpose of all the types of domestic violence is to gain as well as maintain complete control over the victim. It gives the assaulter a certain sense of satisfaction and empowerment. The abusers exercise various tactics of exerting power over their victim who can be their partner, spouse or just a date. Some of these tactics include intimidation, blame, denial, threats, isolation and humiliation. The dynamics of domestic violence can include any or all of the following:

  • Situational Couple Domestic Violence: It occurs due to conflicts that quickly turn into violent arguments and are converted to violence. It is not normally associated with a control pattern and is the most commonly occurring form of intimate partner domestic violence. Both the genders can be the abusers in this form. However, women normally incur more physical harm than men
  • Intimate Terrorism: It encompasses an ongoing control pattern that uses physical, emotional and several other kinds of domestic abuse and Women are more frequently victimized by this type of violence. The definition of intimate terrorism was the initial definition of domestic violence as well, and it is normally exhibited by using the ‘Power and Control Wheel' for illustrating the various inter-related kinds of abuse.
  • Common Couple Violence: In this form, both the partners are involved in inflicting domestic violence on one
  • MVC: MVC or mutual violent control is a very uncommon form of intimate partner/spouse violence that takes place when both the partners in the relationship act with each other violently in order to gain complete control over the
  •  Controlling Behavior: This behavior basically encompasses several acts that are used for making one person in the relationship the subordinate of or completely dependent on the other This is done mostly by cutting them off completely from all resources of financial aid and support, exploiting all their resources or capacities for their personal gain, divesting them of all the means that are required for resistance, independence and escape, as well as regulating routine behavior.

  • Coercive Behavior: It is either just one act or a range of several acts of threats, assault, intimidation or any other abuse that is exercised for punishing, frightening or harming their victim.

  • Economic Domestic Violence: When you have money and are in a position to take decisions regarding it, but do not give your spouse control over it and make them financially dependent you are imposing economic domestic violence on

  • Spiritual Violence: If you don't allow your partner or spouse to have opinions regarding cultural beliefs, values and religion and manipulate their spirituality, it is known as spiritual violence.

  • These were the common types of domestic violence and if anyone has been involved in relationships where their partner practiced any of these types with them, they were victimized by this heinous act. In addition to that, you should know the different situations where you tend to become violent, but aren't viewed as domestic violators in the eyes of law.

    Our attorneys in Bakersfield can help determine if you were justified in Self Defense: If you are trying to resist the violent acts of your partner and act violently with them in order to defend yourself against the harms they are inflicting on you, then you won't be guilty of this crime, rather you would be seen as the victim. This is also referred to as ‘violent resistance'. It means that you believed or knew that you were going to suffer from extreme harm or injuries and realized that the instant use of a violent act or force was the only option left to safeguard yourself from that Furthermore, you made use of the precise amount of force that was necessary for keeping you safe and you did not resort to an unnecessarily extreme measure of force. If your spouse or partner attacked you severely and you reacted to their violence in a harsh manner just to protect yourself, then you won't be charged with domestic violence.

    At our Visalia Office we can discuss other defenses such at Not a Parent, Cohabitant or Spouse: If you were violent with someone, but are not the parent of that person's children, nor their former spouse, current spouse, cohabiting partner or former cohabitant, then you won't be convicted of domestic violence; however, you might be charged with other crimes like assault using a harmful weapon or criminal

    No Traumatic State: If no injuries have been reported when you were arrested for domestic violence, then you can use that in your defense and are most likely to escape being convicted with this charge. Even if there are a few minor injuries, then too, there is a good chance you won't be guilty of domestic violence because minor injuries are normally not viewed as domestic violence and you can use this point as leverage for reducing your charges

Click here for more information from the California Courts on Domestic Violence



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