The Arkansas law defines “domestic abuse” as physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members, whether minors or adults, which constitutes a crime under Arkansas laws.The victim must show that she is in immediate and present danger of domestic abuse to meet the criteria for obtaining an Order of Protection. There are no rules stating that the victim must show recent injuries or have suffered a physical attack. Many judges recognize that the victim is aware of impending attacks due to the history of abuse and the verbal threats of the batterer.
- Battering is a pattern of forcible control that one person exercises over another.
- Battering is behavior that physically harms, arouses fear, prevents an individual from doing what s/he wishes or forces them to behave in ways they do not want.
- Battering includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse, and economic deprivation.
Abuse includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Hitting, slapping, choking, etc.
- Kicking, burning, cutting
- Using or threatening to use a weapon
- Killing or maiming a pet
- Abusing the victim’s child
- Destroying home or belongings
- Forced sex, forces sex with others
- Unwanted sexual practices
- Sexual abuse of victim’s child
- Constant verbal harassment
- Food or sleep deprivation
- Threats or accusations
- Isolation from family or friends
- Not permitting victim to work
- Taking victim’s money
- Forcing victim to ask for money
- Requiring victim to return all change and receipts
The primary goal of a batterer is to gain complete power and control over their victim through the use of intimidation, coercion, violence, or any means necessary to gain the victim’s compliance.The Power and Control Wheel, developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, MN, serves as an illustration of the many tactics an abuser will use, in addition to physical and/or sexual abuse, to control and dominate the victim.
The Cycle of Violence is a recurring behavioral phase that includes:
The cycle can happen hundreds or even thousands of times in a long-term abusive relationship. Each stage will last a different amount of time for each victim. The wheel may turn within a few hours or may take a year or more to complete the cycle. In long-term relationships, the calm and reconciliation stages may disappear altogether.
- Tension building phase
- Incident or acute explosions phase
- Reconciliation or Honeymoon phase