When one individual cohabitates with another and knowingly attempts to harass, intimidate, harm or violate the other, the recipient or sufferer has grounds to pursue a domestic violence claim against the individual responsible for the harmful or threatening behavior.
However, this behavior need not occur in a physical sense. Electronic communication harassment involves the use of virtual communication in order to control, terrify or endanger another, and can qualify as domestic violence when used against adults or children who share space with the offender.
What is electronic communication harassment?
Done over computer, cable, cellular lines, social media, email, and other forms of electronic communication, this form of electronic abuse can include:
- Harmful, intimidating or profane language directed toward another individual
- Unwanted or repeatedly disturbing communications
- Unlawful or unapproved distribution of an individual’s personal information
- Threats to an individual or his or her property
Electronic communication harassment must involve intent to frighten, disturb, offend, control or abuse an individual through the use of harmful correspondences either sent directly to the individual or by means of a social media post, website, or other lines of communication such as via a third-party or family member.
When is this form of harassment considered a domestic violence crime?
In Arizona, certain crimes between individuals in a romantic, sexual or family relationship qualify as domestic violence crimes, including harassment. Any behavior, even that which happens electronically, that causes fear, alarm, unwanted exposure or emotional distress to the offender’s partner or family member can incite a domestic violence charge.