When most people hear the term “domestic abuse,” they tend to think of an abusive spouse or partner who uses physical violence to control or dominate the other person involved in the relationship. While this type of violence certainly occurs and is a serious issue, abuse between spouses can take many forms, many of which are nonviolent. Importantly, whether or not domestic abuse has occurred can have a significant impact on the way that a divorce is resolved in terms of child custody, property division, and alimony, so it important for anyone going through a divorce to discuss the matter with an attorney in order to determine whether domestic violence has, in fact, occurred in a particular case. Some of the more common non-physical forms of domestic abuse are discussed below.
Emotional abuse generally involves behavior that undermines a person’s self-esteem or results in a situation in which the abuser can exert significant control over the victim. This kind of abuse can include verbal threats, put-downs, yelling, humiliating, victim-blaming, isolating, and intimidation. In serious cases, victims of emotional abuse can develop serious psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Continue reading