Did you think that only a physical altercation could lead to potential charges for domestic violence? If so, it's very important to note that it does not always take physical action for these charges in Massachusetts, and you could still find yourself facing a court case if no contact was made.
According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, threats and insults can also be considered domestic violence. If you simply say that you're going to hit your partner or a child, even if you never really intended to do it, you could face charges just as if you carried through on your threat.
Additionally, the Mayo Clinic has identified other behaviors as potential domestic violence, such as trying to control a spouse's spending. This could be considered financial abuse. Insults and cutting remarks could be considered emotional abuse.
Blackmail can also fall under the umbrella of domestic violence and abuse. For example, if you are in a same-sex relationship and you have not told anyone about it, your partner could accuse you of abuse if you threaten to reveal the relationship.
The most common thing that people think of when considering domestic violence is a partner who gets angry and strikes the other person. This certainly can lead to charges, but you need to know that things don't have to get to that point for you to find yourself in legal trouble that you may never have anticipated. If this happens to you, you also need to know what legal options you have and what type of defense you can use in court.
Source: Mayo Clinic, "Domestic violence against women: Recognize patterns, seek help," accessed Oct. 15, 2015