5 Ways Domestic Violence Can Be More Than Physical

Domestic violence is commonly perceived as physical acts, such as punching, shoving, or slapping one’s intimate partner. It can also involve emotional and psychological manipulation so intense that the victims constantly live in fear.

Non-physical domestic violence can be difficult to recognize for what it is: one person’s attempts to control another. If you grew up in a household where you were shouted at one minute and lavished with love and attention the next, it’s easy to equate this behavior with love, no matter how bad it makes you feel.

Below is a list of five signs that your spouse or partner is abusing you mentally or emotionally. They are never single or isolated incidents: violent or controlling behavior is an intentional pattern of incidents that enable the other person to exert power over you.

  1. Isolating you from friends and family

Isolating you from social supports like friends and family is one of the early warning signs that a relationship is becoming abusive. Your significant other may beg, cajole, or guilt-trip you into spending all of your time with them. Over time, they can outright forbid you to see your best friend, parents, and other loved ones. By separating you from your normal support system, an abusive person makes it harder for you to seek help.

  1. Shaming you constantly

Shaming you is a common form of emotional abuse. Your partner may insult your looks (“You’ve put on so much weight and it looks terrible!”), your intelligence (“If you weren’t so stupid, I wouldn’t have to yell like I do.”) and your loved ones (“Your family is a bunch of losers, like you!”). Their goal is to maintain control over you by putting you down until you’re convinced that you are worthless.

  1. Calling and texting you nonstop

Smartphones have created the expectation that anyone who needs to reach you can do so immediately. An abusive partner will call and text you incessantly and berate you for not replying right away. It’s their way of keeping you at their beck and call and preventing you from feeling in control of your life.

  1. Controlling household finances

Domestic violence can be financial abuse. If you don’t work, your partner may keep you on a strict allowance. If you are employed, they can control your ability to access your own income or limit your availability. The goal is to make you financially dependent on them so you don’t think you can afford to leave.

  1. Demanding the passwords to your email and social media accounts

Your partner may require you to hand over the passwords to your email and social media accounts, saying they want proof you aren’t cheating on them or otherwise up to no good. It’s another way for them to monitor and control what you do and who you communicate with.

Contact a Seattle Restraining Order Attorney

At Zafiro Law, we believe that no man or woman should have to live in fear of domestic violence. If your spouse or significant other subjects you to abuse or threats of abuse, we will help you obtain a restraining order that protects your safety while you explore legal avenues for relief. To schedule a confidential consultation with Attorney Katrina Zafiro, call 206-547-9906.

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Zafiro Law

As an attorney, I am passionate about helping my clients achieve peace of mind in navigating the complex areas of family law and immigration law. Your case will get my full and dedicated attention—whether you are seeking to navigate the complexities of your family law matter or overcome the challenges of your immigration law case.

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