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Identifying domestic violence when it occurs

Domestic violence is one of those issues that, while sadly still too common throughout the country, including in Maryland, is also complicated by the unique dynamics of any given relationship.

Furthermore, domestic abuse and violence can come in many different forms. Identifying what, exactly, constitutes domestic abuse and violence is crucial for those Maryland residents who believe they may be victims of this conduct.

For the most part, domestic abuse and violence is about control, and is typically defined as the efforts of one person in a relationship to maintain or gain control over the other person, either through abusive or violent conduct. Of course, that definition can encompass a wide range of conduct.

For example, physical abuse, such as hitting or slapping a person, among other physical contact, quite obviously qualifies as domestic violence. There is almost no situation in which it is right to physically harm another person, unless of course such actions are in self-defense. But, beyond physical abuse, there are many other forms of abuse and violence as well. This can include: sexual abuse; cyberstalking; emotional abuse; threatening behavior; and even economic abuse, which entails the act of controlling the other person's finances or access to funds.

Identifying domestic violence and abuse when it occurs in Maryland is crucial for those who have been victimized by this conduct. Victims may have legal options to attempt to curb domestic violence and abuse, including the potential to secure a restraining order against the perpetrator of the abuse or violence.

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