When you think of domestic violence, you generally consider a scene involving two partners. Your second thought might involve a parent abusing their child. What you probably don't consider, however, is an instance of a parent being abused by their adult child.
Child-on-parent abuse doesn't play out as often, but it does occur more than you might imagine. When it does happen, it's less reported due to the unique nature of the relationships. Sometimes it's reported by a third party. This was recently the case in Maplewood. There, patch.com reported on an incident involving a son abusing his mother. After a bystander called 911, the police arrived on the scene to find a 50-year-old mother with injuries. They arrested her adult son.
Who Can Be Accused of Domestic Violence in New Jersey?
Domestic violence doesn't occur between just anyone. Two people fighting at a house party, for example, aren't involved in a domestic violence dispute unless a qualifying relationship exists between them. Domestic violence is categorized as abuse occurring between individuals with a qualifying relationship. These qualifying relationships include:
- Current or former spouses
- Current or former romantic partners
- Current or former member of the household
- Anyone who has a child together or is expecting a child together
In terms of child-on-parent abuse, a child must be over the age of 18, or be emancipated, to be accused of domestic violence. Accordingly, even though a 16-year-old kid might be stronger and more powerful than his parents, the violence against his parents wouldn't constitute domestic abuse in most cases. Granted, it could trigger other violent crime charges.
In summary, only an adult child, or an emancipated minor, could be charged with domestic violence against a parent in New Jersey.
What Constitutes Domestic Abuse?
It's a mistake to think domestic abuse only occurs when one person is physically injured by another. Not only is it considered abuse to inflict physical injury, but emotional injury can also qualify as domestic violence in New Jersey. In addition to the obvious forms of domestic violence, it could also include:
Relationships between adult children and their parents can be difficult. To further complicate matters, adult children often become the caregivers of their parents. These scenarios can easily lead to accusations of elder abuse or theft.
Speak to a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney ASAP
Family relationships are hard, and emotions often run too high. If you or someone you love has been accused of domestic violence, you need to speak to a criminal defense attorney right away. Attorney Joseph D. Lento knows you need guidance after being accused of domestic violence. Attorney Lento and his dedicated Criminal Defense Team are here to help. Call 888-535-3696 today, or contact us online.