Domestic violence has become one of the the top health concerns in the US. Therefore, it’s essential to be informed and educated about it to promote more effective action.
Sadly, many instances of domestic violence never get reported. Spouse’s endure the abuse and are often made to psychologically feel that they somehow deserve the repugnant cycle of violence.
Thus it’s important to try to recognize the state and seriousness of the abuse. Divorce mediation can also be a proper way to acknowledge the vicious cycle with a mediator acting as a non-partisan third-party entity to end the marriage and hopefully the abuse.
In this blog, we’ll explore the types of domestic violence.
1. Emotional Abuse
Many people believe that domestic violence is only physical, yet it can also be more than that. Verbal and emotional abuse are as harmful, if not more, than physical Abuse. In addition to that, this type of abuse is usually more difficult to recognize.
Emotional abuse is a way to control an individual through emotions to shame, blame, embarrass, criticize or manipulate another person.
For example, a relationship becomes abusive when there’s a consistent pattern of abusive words and bullying behaviors that affect a person’s self-esteem and undermine their mental health.
This type of domestic violence is common in dating and relationships, but it can still occur in other relationships, such as friendships and family.
What are the examples of emotional abuse?
- Humiliating partners, whether in private or public
- Ignoring a partner’s feelings
- Ridiculing or insulting women/men as a group
- Regularly threatening to leave or told to leave
- Abandoning an individual in a dangerous place
- Threatening to kidnap children
- Harassing partners due to assumptions
… and the list can go on.
How do you know if you or someone is a victim of emotional abuse? An effective approach to take is to examine your own relationship—remember, emotional abuse is subtle, which means that you will need to spend a bit more time before you detect it. On the other hand, if you’re having a difficult time recognizing it, think about your interactions with the other person and how they make you feel.
You might uncover that your partner has unrealistic expectations of you most of the time, which is why the other person would like to make unreasonable demands. Another thing would be when the other person expects you to put everything aside to meet their needs.
You can also feel invalidated most times, and the other person will often act superior.
2. Physical Assault
Physical Assault is what comes to mind first when the word domestic violence is mentioned. What sets this apart from the other types of abuse is that this is slightly easier to recognize because it’s difficult to disguise.
More than 10 million Americans are victims of physical violence every year, while 20 people are victims of physical abuse every minute in the US.
According to research, men are the ones who often perpetrate this type of violence, and when women do engage in this type of violence,
it’s more likely to be self-defense.
Examples of physical abuse:
- Throwing objects at or near a partner
- Threatening the other person with weapons
- Non-consensual rough play
Physical abuse starts with a slap or push, and eventually, it becomes worse.
3. Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is another type of domestic violence that is more sensitive and difficult to discuss, especially to women. According to the National Institutes of Health, one in three women and one in four men experience sexual violence in their lifetimes.
Some examples of sexual abuse are:
- Using sexual derogatory names
- Forcing someone to strip
- Forcing someone to become a sex worker
- Forcing a partner to watch porn
- Subjecting the partner to unwanted touching
- Forcing a partner to participate in unwanted sexual activity
- Sexually assaulting a partner
Sexual abuse can lead to negative emotions that can last for many years, such as fear, shock, sadness. It can also lead to anxiety or depressive disorder.
This type of domestic violence is traumatic. The two weeks after an assault, many women experience post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, and a lot of them also struggle with anger, depression, and anxiety.
4. Verbal Abuse
Verbal abuse, just like other types of domestic violence, can take its toll and can even escalate into another type of domestic violence. It’s crucial to know the difference between verbal abuse and a normal argument.
Getting into arguments with your partner, friend, family member, etc., does happen from time to time. This is normal. On the other hand, verbal abuse isn’t normal.
Normal disagreements don’t turn into name-calling or personal attacks, they don’t happen every day, and it only revolves around a basic issue. Things become different when the other person insults or humiliates you or if they frequently yell or scream at you.
5. Financial Abuse
Often unknown, financial abuse is a type of domestic violence. Surprisingly, this is very common and it happens when a partner is overly controlling the other person’s economic independence and freedom.
Still, it’s a silent form of abuse that is not recognized easily. It starts with small offenses that become more controlling over time. Only 3% of Americans thought financial abuse will cause long-term effects compared to emotional and physical abuse.
A good example of financial abuse is when a partner takes control of all bank accounts and how the money is spent. In some cases, a partner may also set an allowance that is often very small.
File a Restraining Order
In any type of domestic violence, you can protect yourself or a loved one by filing a restraining order through a domestic partnership attorney. A restraining order can keep the abuser away.
A restraining order can:
- Make the person not contact or come near you and other people who live with you
- Make the person not come to where you go
- Make the person move out of the home
- Make the person surrender their firearms
- Make the person follow child custody and visitation orders
- Make the person stay away from your pets
Moreover, the restrained individual may be ordered to pay for child or spousal support and pay certain bills.
The impact of this type of domestic violence can be felt long after you have left the situation.
Knowing the types of domestic violence is important. As mentioned, keeping yourself educated and informed will help you recognize signs of abuse immediately, even if it’s not done to you. By doing so, you can save your life or save the lives of others.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. You should also be prepared to face the other person in court; therefore, you need to have an excellent domestic violence lawyer who can protect you and fight for justice—regardless of the type of domestic violence done to you. Speak up and don’t be afraid!