Any pattern of abuse that is used by one partner to take control over the other is classified as domestic violence by the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women

In America, domestic violence has been considered one of the nation’s greatest health concerns. Despite this notoriety, however, many people in abusive situations don’t even realize they are being abused.  Sometimes abuse is easy to observe and identify, such as physical abuse.  But just as often, victims don’t understand or appreciate that the conduct of their spouse or partner is technically abusive because it may not involve physical violence.  Making this even more difficult is that many times even the abuser doesn’t realize that their actions are considered abusive.  But by simply learning what domestic violence is, and how to recognize it, people can prevent themselves and loved ones from being victims of domestic abuse. For that reason, everyone should have an understanding of what domestic abuse is and what it may look like.

Definition

 

Any pattern of abuse that is used by one partner to take control over the other is classified as domestic violence by the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. Many abusive patterns and elements can fall under this definition:

  • Economic abuse is when the abuser attempts to make the victim completely reliant on the abuser for income or housing. This might involve the abuser seeking to control the household funds, prevent the victim from touching their finances, or not allowing them access to their work or school.

  • Emotional abuse might involve repeatedly attacking the victim's self-worth or self-esteem. This can look like endless criticisms, trying to get in the way of the victim’s other relationships, name calling, etc.

  • Physical abuse might involve biting, hitting, shoving, battering, or any other type of physical harm inflicted on the victim. Delayed medical treatment or forced drug intake falls under physical abuse.

  • Psychological abuse is when an abuser attempts fear tactics to control the victim. This could come in the form of threatening, threats to hurt them self, hurt the victim, hurt friends, hurt family, hurt pets, destroy property, or isolate the victim from relationships, school, or work.

  • Sexual abuse is when an abuser attempts to force the victim to perform sexual contact without the victim’s consent. This might involve sexually humiliating the victim, marital rape, and also physical violence against the victim in attempt to force sexual behavior.

  • Stalking might involve spying, harassing, watching, following the victim into their place of work, leaving gifts. All these actions are perfectly legal separately but combined for long periods of time can be considered a stalking crime.

  • Cyberstalking is when the stalking action recurs online

Get Help

Because domestic violence can often be a life-threatening crime, victims should always contact their local law enforcement agency to make a report.  Many communities also have agencies and “help-lines” that help provide resources to victims of abuse.  Victims of abuse should also seek out professional and legal help, especially to discuss whether they are eligible for a Protective Order.  So if your or anyone you know is, or may be, the victim of abuse, know that the lawyers and attorneys at Repko Law, LLC stand ready to help when you need us.

 

Learn More:

Victims

Protective Orders

Dating Violence

Know your options. Contact the family law attorneys at Repko Law, LLC today at 
215-348-9500 to schedule a FREE initial consultation.
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