How to Recognize Domestic Violence
If you think you know how to recognize domestic violence in a relationship, you are probably partially right. Hitting, kicking, and harming a partner with a weapon are all physical forms of domestic violence. But domestic violence goes beyond physical abuse. It can be psychological, sexual, emotional, and even financial. Many of these other types of domestic violence are far more subtle than physical abuse and can go unnoticed – even by the victim – for years.
Domestic violence affects all types of couples. It is not always male-on-female, nor does it only occur at certain socioeconomic levels or among specific ethnic or racial groups. It can affect old couples, young couples, homosexual couples, interracial couples, couples with children, and childfree couples.
Domestic Violence is Not Always Physical
Domestic violence can look like any of the following:
- An individual who regularly checks his or her partner’s phone;
- A woman who becomes pregnant after her partner tampers with her birth control;
- An individual who regularly belittles his or her partner, calling him or her names and telling the partner that he or she is worthless, stupid, or otherwise flawed;
- An individual who does not trust his or her own perception and memories because of gaslighting from a partner;
- An individual who is not allowed to hold a job, make purchases, or manage money;
- An individual who creates conflict with his or her partner’s family and friends, pushing the partner into a position where he or she feels the need to choose between the partner and the loved ones; and
- An act of non-consensual sex within a committed relationship.
Domestic Violence is About Control
At its core, domestic violence is about controlling the victim. An abuser can belittle a victim, withhold medical care, and prohibit the victim from driving or holding a job for the same reason: to keep the victim dependent on him or her.
It is not uncommon for more than one type of abuse to be present in a relationship. Abusive relationships often follow similar patterns:
- The abuser isolates the victim from his or her loved ones;
- Tension in the relationship grows, leading to explosive moments;
- Explosive conflicts are followed by “love bombing,” promises to never react with violence again, followed by a period of relative calm where it becomes taboo to discuss the abuse that occurred; then
- Tension continues to build, and the cycle repeats.
All the while, the abuser and the victim live in a state of denial about their toxic relationship.
Leave your Abusive Marriage and Work with the Draper Law Office to Move Forward
Find a safe way to get out of your abusive marriage as soon as possible. For help, reach out to the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline. Once you are safely out of the home, contact Draper Law Office online or by calling 866-767-4711 to schedule your free, no-obligation legal consultation in one of our three locations: Orlando, Kissimmee, and St. Cloud.