Guide to Domestic Violence

August 19, 2022

Guide to Domestic Violence

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), indicating that the United States was prioritizing the issue of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is not always properly understood and it may include physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual violence against a victim. Domestic violence is the controlling behavior that one person uses against another person to establish domination and authority over a victim’s life. This type of abuse may surface as physical abuse, but it also appears in a variety of other forms. No one is exempt from the possibility of domestic violence, and it touches every race, ethnicity, religion, culture, and social status. If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is critical to seek help immediately. If you are considering a divorce as a result of domestic violence, consider visiting with the compassionate and experienced divorce attorneys at Johnson Law Group at (720) 463-4333 or Text-to-Chat (720) 730-4558 today.

What is Domestic Violence and Abuse?

When people hear the phrase “domestic abuse” they often think of physical violence. However, domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in a marriage or intimate relationship to gain and maintain control over the other person. An abuser does not act reasonably, instead he or she uses guilt, shame, fear, and intimidation to wear a person down and keep them subdued.

Domestic abuse and violence can potentially happen to individuals of any age, ethnic background, and economic level. It can occur in heterosexual and same-sex relationships, and it occurs to women and to men. Although women are victimized more often, men also experience abuse.  Abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it comes from a man, woman, older adult, or teenager because everyone deserves to feel respected, valued, and most importantly, safe.

Domestic abuse often intensifies from a state of verbal assault and threats to increasing actions of violence. Physical injury may seem the biggest threat, but psychological and emotional suffering caused by domestic abuse can also be severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can shatter a person’s self-worth, lead to depression and anxiety, and cause someone to feel alone and helpless. No person should have to endure the kind of pain that accompanies domestic abuse, and a person’s first step to freedom is recognizing that the relationship is an abusive one.

Signs of an Abusive Relationship

If you are wondering if you are in an abusive relationship, there are a variety of signs, but fear or anxiety surrounding your partner is the most obvious. If you feel as if you have to “walk on eggshells” whenever they are around, it may be likely that your relationship is unhealthy or abusive. Other signs of an abusive relationship include their belittling, controlling behavior, and feelings of desperation and helplessness. The following signs can be additional signals of an abusive relationship.

Harassment

Harassment is a form of aggressive control or intimidation that shows up in stalking, constantly checking up on where the victim is, or refusing to leave when asked. Harassment does not need to include any physical violence, but rather the threat and insinuation that violence may occur at any time.

Threats

Threats may occur when the abuser has a bad or unpredictable temper, voices threats to the victim or loved ones, or shouts or threatens with a weapon of any kind. Again, threats are not physical violence, but the insinuation that physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse or violence could occur.

Abuse of Trust

Consider the following questions:

  • Is there lying or withholding important information?
  • Is there stealing from your bank account or stealing of personal possessions?
  • Is there cheating?
  • Are there controlling or jealous outbursts?

Destructive Behavior

Destructive behavior can include the destruction of property or self-destructive behavior such as drug or alcohol abuse, threats of suicide, reckless driving, or attempted suicide as a form of control.

Economic Control

Economic control may appear as a refusal to pay bills, contribute money to household needs, or the complete refusal to seek employment.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse may include kicking, grabbing, burning, slapping, pulling hair, excessive shaking or squeezing, hitting, strangling, or any other physical event that intentionally injures a victim.

Emotional Abuse

Sometimes minimized or overlooked, emotional abuse chips away at an individual’s self-worth and independence. Expressions of emotional abuse may include: yelling, name-calling, humiliating, shaming and blaming, intimidation, isolation, and controlling behavior.

Domestic Violence in the United States

Statistics indicate that there are around three million domestic violence episodes reported every year in the United States, and 4,000 victims are killed each year due to domestic violence. You are not alone if you are the victim of domestic abuse or violence; please seek help immediately.

Your Safety Is the Priority

If you are the victim of domestic abuse or violence, you should find safety first. You may be considering divorce, but before doing anything, please contact law enforcement for help. Contacting a domestic violence shelter can provide a safe place for you and your children. The compassionate attorneys at Johnson Law Group can help you understand your legal options after you are safe.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

If you are going through any domestic violence situation, it cannot be stressed enough that you must find safety first. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact our experienced legal team today at Johnson Law Group at (720) 463-4333 or Text-to-Chat (720) 730-4558 for a free consultation. We can help you understand your rights and assist you through this difficult time. Again, the most important thing is that you and your children seek safety and shelter if you are in any danger at all.

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