Warning Signs of an Abusive Domestic PartnerBy Content |
Domestic abuse is more common than many people ever realize or would like to think about. However, the cultural taboo around talking about this issue has restricted some people’s ability to recognize abuse when it happens to them. There are many tactics an abuser will use to cover their tracks or shift blame. Knowing the warning signs of an abusive domestic partner can make all the difference in protecting yourself and others who may be in this difficult situation. When you are experiencing domestic abuse, know that you have resources. Call one of our experienced domestic violence attorneys for a consultation.
Physical violence is the most overt and visible sign of abuse. Any form of contact that induces pain or fear, such as hitting, slapping, shoving, shaking, punching, or kicking, is domestic abuse. Remember that there is never a good excuse for physical violence in any relationship, ever. It is not normal for you or your partner to inflict physical harm upon one another. Seek help immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing physical domestic abuse in any capacity, as the situation is a slippery slope and can get worse quickly.
Emotional and Verbal Abuse
Abuse is not always physical. We can suffer severe damage and trauma from verbal attacks that go beyond usual arguments between couples and other domestic partners. You are never expected to endure humiliation, name-calling, constant criticism, or threats in a relationship. These are not normal or healthy. Screaming or yelling and otherwise exceeding the bounds of a normal argument verbally to intimidate or force an action from a partner is considered verbal abuse. If your partner is consistently undermining your self-worth and taking you down, this is a sign of emotional abuse.
Isolation and Gaslighting
Along with emotional and verbal abuse, mental manipulation and coercion is a form of domestic abuse and is more difficult to pick up on. Abusers will often try to distance you from your friends and family, who are the people who would be most likely to get you help and support. A partner may also try to limit your communication with people who would build up your self-worth and help you recognize when you are being abused. Isolation tactics will also leave them as the only person you interact with, so you will be less likely to realize that what they are doing is harmful. In a broader sense, isolation is another way an abuser can wield control over you.
Gaslighting is another way abusers manipulate their victims covertly. They will try to get you to question or challenge your own memory, perception, or sanity to make themselves appear correct and faultless in your eyes. Gaslighting may also try to make you feel like what they did to you is your fault. If your partner pushes you to question your own entire sense of reality before they can admit to the truth, this is gaslighting, and it is unquestionably a form of abuse.
Being able to recognize the warning signs of domestic abuse is a crucial part of being in any relationship. When the people you love and trust the most are capable of abuse, it can be harder to spot the signs and protect yourself. Be mindful of the different ways domestic violence can arise, and make sure to keep track of any instances of abuse by keeping a secure record.
Contact your trusted friends and family for emotional support and guidance. You can also call the domestic abuse hotline or contact a shelter designed to handle these situations discreetly and quickly.
Our Family Law Attorneys Are Here for You
You are not alone. Once you ensure your safety, contacting a family lawyer you can trust is a step toward finding long-term safety and freedom from your abuser. An experienced team of family lawyers is ready to hear your story, protect you, and help you get back on your feet.