Women are not the only victims of domestic violence. In fact, more 12 million men and women are abused every year, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Abuse is often cyclical. In the first phase, victims feel like they are “walking on eggshells.” During the second phase, the abuse occurs. The abuser apologizes, and the abuse subsides during the third phase, which is often referred to as the “honeymoon phase.” Then the cycle repeats.
Abusive partners may display some of the following behaviors:
- Speeds up the relationship, like requesting to move in together or open a joint bank account after only a few dates
- Becomes jealous of others/views friends as a threat to the relationship
- Limits contact with others/tries to isolate partner
- Diminishes the impact of abusive behaviors
- Insists on inflexible relationship roles
Typically, when people think of domestic violence, they think of physical abuse. However, physical abuse is not the only type of domestic abuse. Financial, emotional/verbal, and sexual/reproductive are three other types of domestic abuse.
With physical abuse, if abusers have been violent with others, like children or pets, there is a greater chance the abusers will get violent with their partners.
Sometimes victims of physical abuse will have unexplained bruises or injuries, exhibit anxiety or depression, or have suicidal thoughts. Other times, victims may wear heavy sweaters year-round to hide injuries, or wear heavy make-up to cover the bruises.
Financial abuse is when the abuser uses money to force dependency. An abuser will prevent their partner from getting or keeping a job, give an allowance, take the paycheck from their partner, or force their partner to justify every purchase.
Signs of financial abuse may include the victim asking the abuser for permission to meet friends for lunch, or to make even small purchases.
Emotional or Verbal Abuse
Emotional or verbal abuse will typically make those that witness it uncomfortable. The intent behind emotional or verbal abuse is to make victims feel bad about themselves.
Some signs of emotional or verbal abuse include:
- Passive-aggressive behavior
- Put downs, criticism, or public name calling
- Harassing or belittling partner on social media
- Blaming partner for anything that goes wrong
- Making partner feel guilty about actions
Sexual or Reproductive Abuse
Sexual or reproductive abuse can occur early-on in the relationship. It usually escalates with time. Signs of abuse of this sort include:
- Forcing partner to perform sexual acts
- Refusing to use birth control or preventing partner from using birth control/protection
- Sabotaging birth control efforts, like poking holes in condoms
- Hurting partner during sex
In the process of a divorce, domestic abuse matters could have an impact on many aspects of any settlement, including child custody, visitation, and more. Whether you have been falsely accused of committing domestic abuse, or you have been the victim of abuse, you need to have experienced legal representation.