Domestic Violence and Arizona Law

Arizona Statute defines domestic violence by the relationship between the victim and abuser and the type of crimes committed. The following is a list of qualifying relationships and types of crimes considered:

  • The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.
  • The victim and the defendant have a child in common.
  • The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.
  • The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant’s spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
  • The victim is a child who resides or has resides in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or has resides in the same household as the defendant.

Some Common Ways Abusers Control Victims

Controlling behavior is a way for the batterer to maintain dominance over the victim. Controlling behavior, the belief that the abuser is justified in the controlling behavior, and the resulting abuse is the core issue in abuse of victims. It is often subtle, almost always insidious, and pervasive. There is a relationship between violence and other tactics of control.  While physical assaults might occur frequently or infrequently, other parts of the pattern can occur daily. The use of these other tactics is effective because one battering episode builds on past episodes and sets the stage for future episodes. All tactics of the pattern interact and have profound effects on the victims.

Examples of these tactics include:

Isolating the victim

-Initially, an abuser might cut off the victim from supportive relationships with the claims of “loving you so much” and “wanting to be with you all the time.”
– The intent is to control the victims time and isolate them from their support system of family and friends who might question the abusers actions. For example, the abuser might refuse to have telephone service or reliable transportation, monitor the victims email, or make the family change residences frequently.
– The abuser might constantly criticize the victims family and friends or harass the victim so much that it is easier for the victim to simply cut off contact with family and friends. This maybe done by using coercion, threats or force.
– A victim might believe what their abuser says because they are so isolated they have no access to information that might contradict the abuser.
-Calling or coming home unexpectedly to check up on the victim. This may initially start as what appears to be a loving gesture, but becomes a sign of jealousy or possessiveness.

Using the children

-The abuser might punish the children as a way to hurt the victim.
-The abuser might sexually abuse the children or force them to watch the abuse of the victim.
-They might use the children to spy or report on the victims activities.
-They might threaten to kidnap or kill the children if she leaves him.
-The abuser could gain legal custody, just take the children, or use custody and visitation arrangements to harass or harm her.
-They might make threats to call Child Protective Services if the victim leaves the relationship.

Damaging relationships

-The abuser might discredit the victim’s relationships with others in the community, such as employers, clergy, friends and neighbors, by spreading rumors or distorted information.  For example, an abuser might tell others that the victim is crazy or a liar or send messages from the victims email address to alienate them from friends and family.

Attacking property and pets

-The abuser might hit the wall next to where the victim is standing or throw objects at them.  They might pound the table next to the victim or break their favorite possessions. An abuser might say:  “Look what you made me do” or “You’ll be next.”
-The abuser might harm pets to hurt and intimidate the victim.

Stalking and Monitoring partner or ex-partner

-The abuser might follow, threaten, harass and terrify his partner or ex-partner, especially after they have left or separated.
-The abuser might monitor the victim’s whereabouts, daily activities, phone conversations or email to prove to the victim that they cannot conceal anything from them.
-An abuser may monitor phone calls, using caller ID or other number monitoring devises, or not allow the victim to make or receive phone calls.
-They might check the mileage on the odometer following the victims use of the car.
-Not allowing the victim freedom of choice in terms of clothing styles, makeup or hairstyle. This may include forcing the victim to dress more seductively or more conservatively than they are comfortable.
-Invading the victims privacy by not allowing them time and space of their own.
Taken From: Understanding the Nature and Dynamics of Domestic Violence by the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence