About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not physical violence alone. Domestic violence is any behavior the purpose of which is to gain power and control over a spouse, partner, girl/boyfriend or intimate family member. Abuse is a learned behavior; it is not caused by anger, mental problems, drugs or alcohol, or other common excuses.

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.

Domestic violence under the law includes:

  13-604.01 Dangerous crimes against children
  13-1201 Endangerment
  13-1202 Threatening or intimidating
  13-1203 Assault
  13-1204 Aggravated assault
  13-1302 Custodial Interference
  13-1303 Unlawful imprisonment
  13-1304 Kidnapping
  13-1503 Criminal trespass, 2nd degree
  13-1504 Criminal trespass, 1st degree
  13-1602 Criminal damage
  13-2810 Disobeying a court order
  13-2904 Disobeying conduct
  13-2916 Telephone to harass
  13-2921 Harassment
  13-2921.01 Aggravated Harassment
  13-2923 Stalking
  13-3019 Surreptitious photographing, videotaping, filming or digitally recording
  13-3601.02 Aggravated domestic violence
  13-3623 Child or vulnerable adult abuse

 A few of the most common ways abusers control victims

  • Isolation
  • Emotional abuse
  • Using children
  • Dominating finances and family resources
  • Physical and sexual assault

Who are victims?

Anybody can be a victim — rich or poor, any race, age, or religion. High school drop-out or Ph.D.  Studies have shown no characteristic link between personality type and being a victim.  If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, help is available.

To help a friend

  • Listen to their story and believe them.
  • Hold what you are told in confidence.
  • Encourage your friend to think about safety. Help your friend make concrete plans that deal with the most likely “what ifs.”
  • Reach out to a domestic violence program.

Who are abusers?

Like victims, domestic violence abusers come from all backgrounds. However, abusers do share some characteristics in that they tend to justify their abusive behaviors, fail to take responsibility for the abuse and use similar tactics to gain and maintain power and control over their partners.

Abusers typically present a different personality outside of their relationship than they do to their intimate partner, which complicates victims’ ability to describe their experience and seek assistance.

Learn more

There is so much to learn about domestic violence. Search our resources for topics that concern you. Or check our projects for specialized information.