Domestic violence comes in many forms, but all of its forms have the same goal: to maintain control over a partner. Domestic violence is not always obvious to outside observers, sometimes because its victims and perpetrators are adept at hiding its effects and other times, because the type of abuse occurring does not have obvious visible symptoms.
Learn to recognize the signs of the various types of domestic abuse and if you suspect a friend or loved one is a victim, voice your concern to him or her. If you find yourself noticing the signs of domestic violence in your relationship, get out. No relationship is worth your emotional, physical, or mental suffering.
Types of Domestic Violence
There are five types of domestic violence. They are:
- Physical abuse. This is the physical harm of a victim, such as hitting or kicking him or her;
- Emotional abuse. This is the belittling and emotional manipulation of a victim;
- Sexual abuse. This is the forcing of sexual contact with a victim or the use of sex and affection to control his or her actions;
- Financial abuse. This is the use of income and assets to control a victim’s actions, often keeping him or her financially dependent on the abuser; and
- Psychological abuse. This is the psychological manipulation of a victim, which can involve lying to the victim, gaslighting, and socially isolating him or her.
All types of domestic violence can occur together in a relationship. For example, an individual might suffer psychologically as the result of being prohibited from holding a job or spending money without his or her partner’s permission.
Recognizing Domestic Violence
Signs of physical abuse are often the most obvious because they can include cuts, bruises, and black eyes. Other signs of domestic abuse can be more difficult to pinpoint and include one or more of the following:
- Being fearful of one’s partner or his or her reactions;
- Being socially withdrawn and losing contact with friends and relatives;
- Being unable to make decisions, particularly financial ones, without his or her partner’s permission; and
- Suffering from mental health issues like depression or anxiety. This does not always mean that the sufferer is being abused, but it can be a result of domestic violence.
What to Do if you are a Victim of Domestic Violence
Get yourself out of the home and to a safe place, such as a friend or relative’s home or a shelter for domestic violence victims. If you are afraid that your former partner will hurt you, seek a domestic relationship personal protection order (PPO). This can be done through the family division of your local circuit court.
Work with an Experienced Clinton Township Divorce Lawyer
Once you are safely out of your abusive marriage, it is time to take steps to end it. The first step of your divorce is to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer. Our team at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. can provide you with compassionate, goal-focused legal advice about starting and completing the divorce process. Contact our firm today to set up your free legal consultation with a member of our team.