Domestic violence is a sensitive topic and has complexities in the legal system. It is a type of behavior that has the purpose to gain control and power over a partner, a spouse, or an intimate family member. Abusing someone is not caused by mental problems, drugs or alcohol, anger, or other common excuses. It is often a learned behavior.
Whoever is going through this horrifying act must work with a domestic violence lawyer to help him or her to navigate the justice system.
Domestic violence is a crime that occurs in domestic conditions. It can be committed against a family member. Domestic abuse is prevalent in cohabitation or marriage settings. However, domestic violence can also be committed against parents, the elderly, and children as it takes many forms.
Domestic violence is not exclusive to physical abuse. It includes emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. Abuse can range from subtle coercion, marital rape, and violent physical attacks. Physical abuse may include beating, choking, and even genital mutilation which is frequent among female victims.
Kinds of Domestic Violence
When people hear the term domestic violence, they often associate it with physical harm with visible injuries to the victim. The truth of the matter is that physical abuse is just one of the types of domestic violence. There are various categories regarding abusive behavior. Each of the abusive categories has its own destructive consequences and effects on the victim.
It must be noted that physical violence is the most fatal among all categories of abuse as it puts the victim at a higher risk of danger. Nonetheless, other factors have long-term devastating effects on the victims which cannot be minimized by the absence of lethal danger. All the actions under each category are unacceptable and any individual suffering any of these behaviors from the perpetrator must work with a domestic violence lawyer.
Physical abuse refers to any aggressive behavior exhibited physically. It can also include the threat of physical violence and withholding a victim’s physical needs. The actions of physical violence include but are not limited to; hitting, biting, slapping, kicking, choking, beating, drowning, threatening with a weapon, pulling hair, stabbing, shooting, threatening the victim with physical assault, punching, and many more.
Physical abuse also includes withholding personal needs such as interrupting meals or depriving the victim of sleep. It also covers denying the basic needs of the victim. Forcing or restraining a victim against her own will is a form of physical abuse. Even if the victim is not injured, if the perpetrator destroyed property due to an argument, threw objects, or kicked walls, these things can be considered as physical abuse.
Controlling the Victim
Controlling behavior is the perpetrator’s way to show his or her dominance to the victim. It is often subtle which is why it is an insidious form of abuse. The actions exhibited by control include monitoring the victim’s communication devices and preventing him or her from contacting anyone.
Stripping the victim’s freedom of choices such as their clothes and hair is also a form of physical abuse. Being possessive and overly jealous that restricts the victim's social circle is also under the same category. Invasion of privacy and encouraging the victim to be dependent on the perpetrator.
Sexual abuse is an act where the perpetrator uses sex in an exploitative way of forcing a person to do sexual acts even if it is against the victim’s will. Sexual abuse includes physical and verbal actions.
Some of the actions under sexual abuse are force, manipulation, and coercion without considering the victim’s desire regarding sex. Exploiting an unknowing victim due to alcohol intoxication or drugging the victim to remove an informed decision is considered as sexual abuse. Harassing the victim by making unwanted advances such as kissing without his or her consent.
Emotional abuse may not exhibit lethal physical harm but it has destructive effects on the victim’s mental state. It includes intimidation, manipulation, and degradation. Brainwashing a victim can be detrimental to the individual’s welfare, which is also considered as emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse also includes undermining the victim’s self-confidence and humiliation. Distorting the victim’s statements to create insecurity and confusion. There are times that the perpetrator might make the victim look like he or she is crazy. An example of the crazy-making behavior is hiding the victim’s cell phone and insulting the individual for losing the item.
Verbal abuse is the act of using words to degrade, threaten, or humiliate the victim. Verbal abuse includes using name-calling and cursing at the victim. Threatening to hurt the victim’s loved ones or reputation is a form of verbal abuse. Terrorizing and screaming at the victim to create fear is also considered verbal abuse.
Domestic violence is prevalent among women but there are men who also suffer abuse. It is highly recommended that any person experiencing any form of abuse must contact a domestic violence lawyer who can help the victim get out of the situation and work through the legal process.