In the state of Massachusetts, domestic violence laws include physical harm or the intent to physically harm, the infliction of fear of physical harm, and involuntary sexual relationship against a family or other household member. This crime is especially serious if the victim was violated by the suspect while a protective order was in place.
Definition of a household member:
- people who are or have once been married
- individuals that have children together
- individuals that are related through marriage or by blood
- individuals who live together are have lived together, such as roommates
Assault can range from actual physical harm or the intent to commit physical harm against another individual. This means that even a serious threat to commit physical harm can be considered assault. Simple assault is in itself a crime, but in Massachusetts, assault against a family or household member is considered a much more serious offense.
In addition, stalking can be considered domestic violence if it is proven that the suspect intended to cause bodily harm or inflict fear to a household member. Repeatedly calling, emailing, or attempting to contact an individual after it was made clear they want contact severed can be considered stalking. Stalking can turn to domestic violence if the victim has experienced severe emotional distress due to threats or the repeated attempts to make contact. [Read more...]