Domestic Violence & Divorce

First, before you read any further, if you have suffered emotional, physical, or sexual violence within a relationship, you should contact a domestic violence resource center in your area for your safety and protection. Domestic violence is still an unresolved issue within the United States, even though Congress attempted to address this serious issue within our nation through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994. Unfortunately, domestic violence continues today at a shocking rate. Research shows that there are over three million incidents of domestic violence within the United States each year, which translates into a victim suffering some form of domestic violence every nine seconds. Additionally, one-fourth of all relationships in the United States experience from some form of domestic violence. Again, if you are suffering from any form of domestic violence, please get immediate help.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is widely misunderstood, as many people only expect to see stereotypical physical abuse from movies and television. While physical violence against a spouse or partner is absolutely a form of domestic violence, there are other forms, as well, which include emotional, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse. Any type of manipulative or controlling behavior that affects and impedes another person from living life freely and safely can be considered domestic violence.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Many people believe that domestic violence abuse only entails some form of physical violence. However, some of the most devastating forms of domestic violence include either emotional or psychological abuse. Examples of emotional abuse could include stalking a partner, showing up at their place of employment with intimidation or threats, continuously monitoring or checking up on a partner in order to exhibit control, or issuing continual threats to either the victim, their children, or family members. Any action that intimidates or terrifies another person can be defined as emotional or psychological abuse. Even such things as withholding important information from a partner or financially manipulating them in some way can be a form of domestic violence.

There are many ways that an abuser can manipulate or terrorize a victim in order to comply with their wishes or keep them under control. Some of these ways include exhibiting self-destructive behaviors such as alcohol or drug abuse, threats to commit suicide or attempted suicide, or even driving recklessly with the victim inside of the car. All of these types of actions ultimately threaten, coerce, manipulate, or intimidate another person into behaving in a certain way. All of these examples are incidents of domestic violence.

Physical Domestic Violence

Of course, any type of physical violence against another person within a domestic partnership, marriage, or another type of romantic partnership, is clearly considered domestic violence. Physical domestic violence can include anything from punching, hitting, slapping, burning, or harming the other person in any way. It is critical to note that this activity is illegal, and victims of domestic violence have legal rights.

Domestic Violence Myths

There are many myths and misunderstandings that surround domestic violence in the United States. Many people simply do not want to face the reality that this type of violence occurs throughout every community in America. Here are some of the most common myths associated with domestic violence.

  • Domestic violence is something that exists between individuals privately, and others should not get involved in private matters.
  • Victims of domestic violence are in some way responsible for their own abuse because they may have provoked or angered their partner.
  • Most cases of domestic violence abuse are simply exaggerated cases of someone with anger management issues.
  • Domestic violence would never happen in this neighborhood, in our church, within our ethnicity, etc.
  • Domestic violence can simply not be that bad, or else the victim would leave.

These myths surrounding domestic violence are absolutely untrue. If you are considering a divorce from someone who abuses you either physically, emotionally, psychologically, or sexually, your first step is to get to safety. The safety of you and your children is a priority before attempting to legally separate or divorce from your partner. Make sure to contact law enforcement or your closest domestic violence shelter as soon as possible to preserve your safety and protection.

Contact an Attorney Today

If you are experiencing any kind of domestic violence situation, after taking action to ensure your own safety and health, you will have a better ability to make determinations about your future, which may include divorce. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney in Mooresville, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at 704.370.2828 or online today for your initial consultation.