A person who uses threats, harasses, molests, stalks, attacks, batters, or strikes an intimate partner, family members, or his or her children is committing domestic violence. People from all ethnic, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds can experience domestic violence.
A person who is experiencing domestic violence has a legal right to seek relief from the courts by getting an Order of Protection. A person who is seeking protection from harassment but who does not meet the relationship requirements for an Order of Protection may ask the court for an Injunction Against Harassment.
In Arizona, domestic violence includes a variety of abusive acts in combination with specific relationships. The crimes and relationships are found in Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 13-3601.
A plaintiff must be able to show the court that the person from whom he or she wants protection (the defendant) has committed or may commit an act of domestic violence. A plaintiff does not have to be physically injured or hurt to be a victim of domestic violence. The person only needs to threaten harm or abuse another person once for the act to be considered domestic violence.
Domestic violence occurs if the other person has done or attempts to:
threaten, intimidate, or harass
interfere with the custody of children
trespass on or damage property
restrain, kidnap, or hold a person as a prisoner
assault with his or her body or with a weapon
display a deadly weapon or threaten with a deadly weapon
surreptitiously (without a person’s knowledge) photograph, videotape, film or record another person
Other acts of disorderly conduct and crimes such as stalking and disobeying a court order are also considered domestic violence if the parties have a specific relationship to each other.