Common Forms of Domestic Violence in California: Essential Information for Victims

August 17, 2022 The Law Offices of Teresa A. Beyers Domestic Violence

Domestic violence takes many forms. Although physical violence committed by a spouse, family member, or intimate partner may be the most well-recognized type of domestic violence, it is not the only behavior that falls under this category.

Some victims of domestic violence in California don’t realize they are being abused because they aren’t familiar with other forms domestic violence may take. Types of domestic violence that are sometimes overlooked include (but are not limited to) the following:


A person doesn’t need to physically harm you to be guilty of domestic violence. A simple threat of harm qualifies.

Additionally, someone can commit domestic violence against you even if you aren’t the individual they’ve threatened to harm. For example, if a spouse or intimate partner threatens to harm one of your close friends unless you stop seeing them because your partner believes this friend is a romantic competitor, they might have committed domestic violence.


Stalking may be classified as a form of domestic violence for the same reason that threats may be: it makes you feel unsafe, even if you haven’t yet been harmed. Additionally, while stalking may not result in direct physical injury, it can cause significant mental and emotional pain.


Stalking involves an abuser attempting to monitor your whereabouts and be in your presence despite your desire to keep your distance from them. However, a person doesn’t need to be physically near you to commit a similar form of domestic violence. For example, they could simply send you frequent unwanted messages via email, phone, and other such means.

Destruction of property

Those who commit domestic violence often do so in moments of extreme anger. This anger can translate to physical violence.

Sometimes, an angry person committing domestic violence might not physically take out their anger on you or another person. Instead, they might destroy your property.

This is still a form of domestic violence. Don’t let an abuser convince you that they just “get a little hot-headed sometimes” and need to sometimes take out their frustrations. If they are destroying property, they have already committed a violent act. If you don’t take steps to protect yourself, you might one day be the direct target of their anger.

Coercive behavior

“Coercive behavior” is a general term that involves a range of behaviors. They may include:

  • Isolating you from others
  • Not giving you access to basic needs
  • Using threats or other such means to force you to do something you otherwise would not do
  • Exercising control over your reproductive autonomy, such as sabotaging contraceptives without telling you, could result in an unwanted pregnancy

Get Help from a Los Angeles Domestic Violence Attorney

Many victims of domestic violence suffer in silence. In some instances, this is because they don’t realize another’s behavior qualifies as a form of domestic violence.

Has a partner or spouse engaged in any of the behaviors listed here? If so, you should remove yourself (and, if applicable, your children) from the situation. Should your abuser be a spouse who you plan on divorcing, a qualified domestic violence victim attorney can provide you with the representation you need.

At The Law Offices of Teresa A. Beyers, a Los Angeles family law attorney with experience representing domestic violence victims is on hand to help you navigate this challenging situation. Learn more about what our firm can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 213-236-4400.

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