Recognizing Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse is emotional, physical, or sexual abuse that occurs in a marriage. Many people who are victims of domestic abuse feel that they cannot leave their marriage because there is no other option, and so they stay in abusive relationships. Others are encouraged by friends and family members to stick around and give the marriage just one more try. Many other people in abusive relationships may not even realize that the conflicts they experience with their husband or wife are actually forms of abuse.
Types of Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse is defined as the actions of one spouse to try to control the other through threats, violence, coercion, insults, or other forms of physical or emotional abuse. The most obvious forms of abuse are physical in nature, including:
- Hitting or other acts of physical violence
- Forced sexual behavior
However, abuse often takes the less-obvious form of emotional abuse. Victims of emotional abuse may not even understand that this type of behavior is serious and qualifies as abuse. Examples of possible types of emotional abuse that can take place in a relationship include:
- Threats. One partner may threaten the other verbally, with gestures, or with weapons or other indicators of physical harm. Threats may be made to the victim’s safety, his or her family or possessions, or to the relationship itself. Threats include intimidation and even stalking behaviors.
- Isolation. One partner may refuse to let the other see family and friends. This can either occur directly, such as if one partner demands that the victim stop visiting loved ones, or indirectly, such as when abusers convince the victims that loved ones have double-crossed the victim or do not really care about the victim at all.
- Insults. A partner may degrade the other’s feelings of self-worth through insults, name-calling, and other vulgarities.
- Blame. An abuser may tell a victim that the victim provokes the abusive behavior. Victims can then become convinced that they are at fault for the abuse they receive. As a result, they may not seek to end a marriage as they have been convinced to believe that they deserve this type of treatment.
Victims of abuse often want to leave their marriages but may be afraid of repercussions from an angry spouse.
None of these actions are acceptable behaviors for a marriage. To learn more about domestic abuse, domestic violence, or other family law matters, contact our Raleigh divorce lawyers at the Marshall & Taylor PLLC by calling (919) 833-1040.