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What types of domestic violence are there?

Domestic violence takes many forms and is not just when someone physically assaults an intimate partner. In general, domestic violence occurs when one person in a relationship exhibits an abusive pattern of behavior aimed to control the other person. Victims can be of either gender and any age, and they can come from all socioeconomic statuses and educational backgrounds.

People may not recognize their own or their partner’s behavior as indicative of abuse, but understanding the forms it can take can help people either change or get out of a bad situation. Domestic violence includes physical, emotional, sexual, economic and psychological abuse. It also includes such things as stalking, threats and cyberstalking.

When one person tries to assert total control over the other person in a relationship, it is domestic violence even when a physical assault has not occurred. For example, some abusers control their partners through financial means by taking over all finances, not allowing the victim access to any money, preventing the victim from going to work or getting a job. A increasingly prevalent form of domestic violence occurs when the abuser sends threatening or harassing emails and text messages to their partner, gains access to their accounts and engages in other technological abuses leading to emotional harm to the victim.

If people believe they are the victims of domestic violence, the first thing they should realize is help is available through counseling, domestic violence shelters and legal means. A family law attorney will have knowledge of how victims can get restraining orders and otherwise separate themselves from their abusers, including the suggestion of available community resources.

Source: Findlaw, “What is Domestic Violence?“, October 01, 2014

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