Certain acts which are considered to be domestic violence may also constitute a criminal act as seen in the Criminal Code. Under our Criminal Code, violence is known as bodily harm, which may be punishable by imprisonment. However, if there is a case of domestic violence, namely bodily harm within the household and between household members, then the law provides for an aggravation and a harsher punishment. In fact Article 202(h) specifies the punishment will be more harsh:
“When the crime is committed on the person of which.....Another person living in the same household as the offender or who had lived with the offender within a period of one year preceding the offence;”
It is important to note, that the law also considers this aggrava[on if a person is merely living in the same household with the offender. Therefore domestic violence, according to our Criminal Code, need not be committed necessarily on the wife or children, but it may be committed on any person who has been living in the household, be it a relative or an unrelated individual or an individual who has lived with the offender within a period of one year preceding the offence. If the victim for arguments sake has lived with the offender for 2 months, and the offence occurred after 4 months from moving out. This is still considered to be domestic violence as long as it happens within one year from when the victim lived with the offender. Moreover, with regards to sexual offences, namely rape, abduction and violent indecent assault, these are further aggravated if committed in the presence of or within hearing distance of a minor.