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Georgia domestic violence can include sexual abuse

We've discussed several facets of domestic violence in prior entries, including how certain forms of emotional abuse can be part and parcel of a pattern of domestic violence, and should be identified as such. Unfortunately, in many cases, people are often reticent to speak up about being victims, whether due to fear, shame, or the idea that there's nothing they can do. This can be especially true when the abuse includes a very private area of a victim's life, such as sexual activity.

First off, it is important to dispel a couple myths regarding sexual activity that seem to hang on despite it being the 21st century. Being married or in a romantic relationship does not entitle either partner to sexual contact whenever he or she wants it. When a person commits sexual acts without the consent of the other person involved, it is at least a battery, regardless of the relationship between the two individuals. This means any unwanted touching or attempts to touch a spouse or significant other in a sexual manner could be domestic violence.

It should also be noted that there are other types of domestic sexual abuse. Using the threat of sexual violence to coerce certain behaviors, taking photos or video without consent or withholding money or other inducements in an attempt to force one to consent to sex can also be viewed as domestic abuse. Sexual contact when a person is unable to consent, such as when she or he is sleeping, passed out or drugged can also be domestic sexual abuse.

It is important to recognize the patterns of behavior that domestic abusers tend to exhibit, and to realize that there are legal options to stop such abuse. Georgia residents in an abusive relationship may wish to contact an experienced family attorney.

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