When people think of domestic violence, most often they think of a situation where a partner physically abuses a victim. Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another partner. The relationship can be with a significant other, sibling, child, or elderly. Domestic violence is not just contained to physical abuse; there is emotional, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse, too.
As we know, physical abuse is the most thought of form of domestic violence. Physical abuse involves causing injury or pain to another through choking, slapping, punching/kicking, stabbing, shooting, etc. The other side of physical abuse is withholding necessities to maintain a healthy status which can include medication, medical care, food, water, and sleep, hygienic assistance, and forcing a person to drink alcohol and do drugs.
Emotional abuse involves undermining the victim’s self-esteem, typically through insults, criticism, belittling their abilities, and manipulation. This type of domestic violence is often overlooked as people may just label it as a typical fight or an unhealthy relationship. Very often emotional abuse is paired with physical which is when legal action is brought.
Psychological abuse consists of instilling fear or isolating the victim from loved ones, school, and work. The partner could instill fear by threatening physical harm to themselves, the victim, and others, harassment, stalking, or destruction of property. Isolating the victim can be done by prohibiting use of cellphone or transportation, constant accompaniment, or forced imprisonment.
Sexual abuse is forcing the victim to perform sexual acts without consent. Generally, sexual abuse is classified as rape, either marital or acquaintance. It is a much broader subject than that. Besides rape, sexual abuse can be forced sex after physical abuse, attacks on sexual body parts, forced prostitution or fondling. Domestic sexual abuse can also be an attempt to undermine someone’s sexuality. This can be criticizing sexual performance, accusations of infidelity, or treating them in a sexually derogatory manner.
Financial abuse can also be termed economic abuse. Financial abuse is when one tries to make the victim financially dependent upon them. Financial abuse can be one maintaining control over all the finances including victim’s income, withholding access to money, prohibiting them to attend school or work, or requiring reason for all money spent.
Domestic violence of any kind may be hard to recognize and definitely difficult to cope with afterwards. At Hart Law Office, we understand the difficult process we may be, and we will be there every step of the way. Contact us for a free consultation today.
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