Domestic violence receives a lot of media attention, but the bias always seems to be in favor of women. When they are perceived as the victims, the public is outraged. When they are shown to be aggressors, many people seem to feel that they must be justified.
But when men face abuse from a domestic partner, no one seems to take the matter seriously. And when men are falsely accused of domestic violence, they face the loss of everything from their job and reputation to their relationship with children and other family members.
It’s not fair.
And that’s why the dedicated team at Carmiece Graves Law fights to uphold men’s rights in family law cases involving domestic violence issues. A fair outcome requires fair representation so that both sides of the story are heard and understood.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
In Maryland, domestic violence is generally referred to in the laws as domestic or family abuse. When certain crimes occur between people with a specific type of relationship, those crimes are treated as domestic abuse.
Section 4-501 of the Maryland Family Code defines domestic abuse by describing individuals who are entitled to seek relief in specific situations. Abuse consists of:
- Any act that causes “serious bodily harm”
- Any act that makes a person afraid of “imminent serious bodily harm”
- Any type of assault
- Rape, attempted rape, or certain other sexual offenses
- False imprisonment
- Revenge porn (distributing intimate images to harass, coerce, or harm)
The specific definitions of these abusive actions come from the Maryland Criminal Code. It is important to note that the threat of violence is treated as seriously as a violent act, and that it is the individual’s fear of harm that is critical, not the actual danger of harm.
Many other types of conduct can also be considered domestic abuse, even if they do not qualify for the same remedies under criminal law. A spouse may be a victim of financial abuse if a partner hid or restricted access to marital assets. A family member could be verbally or emotionally abused by taunts or threats. Domestic abuse can take many forms.
What Relationships Cause Conduct to Be Treated as Domestic Violence?
When abusive situations take place between certain people, then the victim may be eligible for relief, including protective orders. Those eligible for relief as victims of domestic violence include:
- Current and former spouses
- Someone related to the alleged abuser by blood, marriage, or adoption
- Someone who lives with the alleged abuser
- Someone who had a child together with the alleged abuser (even if they never lived together)
- Someone who had a sexual relationship with the alleged abuser within that last year
- Any “vulnerable” adult (lacking mental or physical capacity)
Maryland law can be expansive when it comes to determining relationships that qualify for domestic violence protection.
Consequences of Domestic Violence Allegations
Allegations of abuse can have far-reaching effects. They can impact a parent’s ability to gain custody or even enjoy visitation time with a child. They can affect the way a court allocates property in divorce or decisions about alimony.
They can impact job security and future opportunities as well as social relationships. Once made, allegations can be difficult to disprove.
The Experienced Team at Carmiece Graves Law Can Help
Whether you need to protect yourself or your children from an abusive situation or you have been accused of abuse, you need to take steps as soon as possible to protect your rights and your future. The dedicated family law attorneys at Carmiece Graves Law are ready to help. Contact our office in Upper Marlboro now to schedule a confidential consultation.