Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, affects individuals who are intimately involved. Domestic abuse can take many different forms, including verbal, physical, and sexual abuse as well as threats of assault. Anyone can be abused by a spouse, but domestic violence is most frequently committed against women. Both same-sex and heterosexual relationships are susceptible to domestic violence.
There is always an imbalance of power and control in abusive relationships. An abuser exerts control over a relationship by using scary, cruel words and actions. Domestic violence lawyers can provide you with more legal information.
At first, it might not be simple to recognise domestic violence. Although some relationships are abusive from the start, this abuse usually begins subtly and then gets worse over time. If you’re in a relationship with someone who does any of the following, you are in an abusive relationship:
- insults you, calls you names, or otherwise belittles you
- stops you from going to work, school, or seeing your family or friends, or discourages you from doing so
- demonstrates jealousy or possessive behavior or persistently accuses you of being unfaithful.
- tries to regulate how you spend your money, where you travel to, what medications you take, or how you dress.
- when taking drugs or alcohol, becomes irate.
- threatens to use force or a weapon on you
- attacks you, your children, or your pets with blows, kicks, shoves, slaps, or other physical force.
- forces you to engage in sexual activity or has sex with you against your will
- blames you for their violent actions or claims you deserve it
If you’re in a same-sex relationship with someone, or if you identify as bisexual or transgender, you might also be experiencing abuse if they:
- Threaten to reveal your sexual orientation or gender identity to friends, family, coworkers, or members of the community
- Explain that the government won’t assist you because of your sexual orientation or gender identity
- Question your sexual orientation or gender identity to justify abuse
Reverse the Cycle
If you’re experiencing abuse, you might see this pattern:
- Your abuser makes violent threats.
- Your abuser acts.
- Your abuser expresses regret, vows to make amends, and gives gifts.
- This all keeps happening over and over again.
The physical and emotional costs of being in an abusive relationship increase with time. You can experience anxiety and depression, or you might start to question your capacity for self-care. You may experience helplessness or even paralysis.
Additionally, you can be confused about whether you are to blame for the abuse, which can make it more challenging to get assistance. This is a common concern among victims of domestic abuse.
Don’t assign blame
Because you think you’re at least somewhat at fault for the abuse in the relationship, you might not be ready to get treatment or seek assistance. This could be because:
- Your partner holds you accountable for the violence in your union. Abusive partners don’t often accept accountability for their behavior.
- Your partner only acts violently with you. Abusers frequently care about how they come across, so to everybody else, they might seem endearing and stable. This can lead you to think that the only explanation for their behavior is something you did.
- When a therapist or medical professional sees you alone or with your partner, they don’t find anything wrong with you. Your healthcare provider might only observe unhealthy patterns in your thinking or behavior if you haven’t told them about the abuse. This can result in a wrong diagnosis. For instance, victims of intimate partner violence may experience symptoms that resemble those of long-term illnesses like fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome. Your risk of developing mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) rises when you are exposed to intimate partner violence.
- When arguing with your abuser, you have acted out verbally or physically, by yelling, pushing, or hitting them. However, it’s much more likely that you acted out of extreme emotional distress or self-defense.Such occurrences might be used as leverage by your abuser, who might present them as evidence that you are the abusive partner.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what’s going on, step back and consider your relationship’s bigger patterns. Then, go over domestic violence warning signs. The abuser in a relationship is the one who engages in these actions on a regular basis. The individual suffering the abuse is the victim.
What are the repercussions of being found guilty of domestic violence?
Most offenses connected to a domestic violence conviction are either felonies or misdemeanors. Depending on the severity of the charges, you may be sentenced to prison, probation, or fines if you are found guilty of domestic violence. For instance, one of the less serious crimes involving domestic abuse is disorderly conduct. It carries a maximum $250 fine and a 15-day prison term.
You must register as a sex offender if the domestic violence conviction resulted from a sexual offense. Convictions for domestic violence are permanent on a person’s record and can have a significant impact on one’s future in a variety of ways. These include future work opportunities and child custody.
An order of protection is frequently obtained against people who are detained and accused of a domestic violence incident. An order of protection is intended to safeguard the victim of domestic violence from further harm. The judge has the authority to impose various restrictions. For instance, the order can state that a person must forgo phone or online contact with the victim.
The court may even refuse an abusive parent-child visitation in rare circumstances. Alternatively, they could mandate that a third party oversee the visitation.
It is crucial to realize that when one parent accuses the other of domestic abuse and asks for custody, courts do not always believe that parent. Instead, the judge will seek reliable proof of the following:
- Whether the alleged domestic violence was directed at a child, and if it was, whether it affected the child, and if it did, what effect it had
- Whether the accused parent still puts the child or the other parent in danger
- The frequency and severity of any instances of domestic violence
- Whether the alleged abuser has been subject to criminal charges
- Whether there is concrete proof of abuse in the form of photographs, films, eyewitness accounts, medical records, the findings of child protective services investigations, etc.
- If any incidences of abuse were reported to the police
An investigation is likely to be conducted if a parent or other family member is accused of abusing a kid in a household and is reported to the local child protection authority.
An abuser may be apprehended as a result of the investigation, and a child or children may be removed from the home.
The issuing of emergency protection orders and temporary and permanent restraining orders, which keep an abuser away from a victim to prevent further injury, is another legal consequence of domestic abuse.