Can You Be the Victim of Domestic Violence Without Knowing It?
Posted on: March 13, 2018
Most people would agree that when a person in a romantic relationship physically abuses someone, it’s a crime. What many don’t know about domestic violence is that physical abuse isn’t the only thing that constitutes abuse. Emotional abuse can be difficult for even the victim to recognize, because the abusers are often subtle and they frequently blame their victim.
If you have reason to believe that you’ve been the victim of any type of domestic violence – including emotional abuse, then we encourage that you contact the police and a family law attorney. At Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP, we are here to help you. Read on to learn more about what constitutes domestic violence and what you can do about it. Then contact us at 909-482-1422 for additional help.
What exactly is emotional abuse?
Emotional abuse is not a one-time event in which a person calls someone a bad name. Even if a couple argues every day, there is not necessarily emotional abuse happening. If you and your spouse have an argument and one of you sleeps on the couch, that’s not emotional abuse. If you and your spouse got into a fight about dinner and they demanded access to your email so they could read your private messages, that may be unsettling and controlling but it’s not emotional abuse.
The bottom line in the examples above is that one situation and one time does not constitute emotional abuse. Unlike with physical abuse, which only needs to happen a single time to be considered abuse, emotional abuse happens over time. As a result, it can be hard for the victim to see. The abuser will often manipulate and hurt the victim’s self-esteem, then blame them for their own unhappiness.
Examples of emotional abuse
To get a better idea of what is and what isn’t emotional abuse, consider these examples of emotional abuse:
- Name calling and other types of verbal abuse
- Accusing a spouse of infidelity with no grounds
- Withholding affection
- Punishing or threats of punishing
- Blaming a partner for the issues within a relationship
- Isolating their partner from friends, family, co-workers, etc.
- Criticizing harshly – especially in front of others
- Control over the spouse’s every move
- Making threats
- Verbally attacking during an argument
- Giving the silent treatment
These are just some examples of emotional abuse but it can look different for everyone.
Are you being emotionally abused?
It’s extremely common for a person to be blindsided when they realize that they’ve been emotionally abused. In most cases, the relationship likely started out fine – there was likely even romance and affection. The change to an emotionally abusive relationship typically happens slowly – so slowly that it may be hard to see it.
If you fear that you may be suffering from the damage of emotional abuse then we urge you to contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP right away. Contact us at 909-482-1422 for a confidential legal consultation. We can answer your questions and let you know what your options are. Let us stand up for your rights. Call us today.