Most people assume that it will be easy to recognize domestic violence should they experience it. However, the signs of domestic violence are not as obvious as most people would be led to believe by what they see on popular media.
While there are indeed clear-cut situations where a spouse or domestic partner is aware that they are sharing a life with an abusive individual, many abuse victims don’t actually realize that they are victims of abuse until a certain extreme event triggers a reaction, and by this point, a lot of psychological, emotional and physical damage may already have been done.
Why Domestic Abuse Can Be So Hard to Recognize
Abusers will often dramatically change their behavior over time, which means that the abused party will often end up becoming gradually climatized to their abusive circumstances.
Abusers tend to be particularly charming when a couple starts dating, and an abused partner may continue to idealize this early phase of the relationship, continuing to believe that it is possible for things to get better or believing that they must have done something wrong to deserve hurtful treatment since their partner did not treat them poorly in the past.
In reality, the fundamental problem lies with the abusive partner and not the victim. These people can often be very charismatic, charming and most importantly, manipulative. This means that they will often act on their best behavior in the early stages of the relationship, showering their partner with gifts, compliments or even financial rewards. Only once they have convinced their partner that they are a wonderful person will their true personality start showing through, and by this point, the abused partner is often deeply emotionally entrenched in the relationship and will have let down their guard in terms of looking for red flags.
While many would like to believe that they can change an abusive partner, the reality is that this is rarely the case. Even those abusers who appear initially willing to seek out treatment or help will often continue to abuse their partner later down the line. While people can and do change, most people who do not seek out help on their own initiative don’t, and even then, they will need to devote years of their life to healing.
This journey is not, and should never be somebody else’s responsibility, and anybody who recognizes signs of abuse in their relationship should consider reaching out to a divorce lawyer in Erie as soon as possible. A person who is being abused needs to take care of the needs of themselves and their children, and ensuring their safety should always be the utmost priority.
Getting Out of a Dangerous Relationship
While a child custody lawyer in Erie can help a victim of domestic abuse take the legal steps that they need to terminate their partnership or legal marriage and the property entailed, they can help a person in an abusive situation take the necessary steps that they need to ensure their immediate safety and security.
Abusers are, by nature, controlling, and the reason that many people stay in an abusive relationship longer than they should is that they feel afraid to leave. A divorce lawyer in Westminster can help them take the steps that they need to cut an abusive partner out for their lives and keep their children and assets as safe as possible while doing so.
Common Red Flags
Before taking action by calling up a lawyer in Broomfield to help, a person needs to be able to recognize the warning signs that they are being abused by their partner, and most of these red flags are not as obvious as most would think. Abuse comes in many forms including emotional, psychological and sexual, and physical abuse usually only happens later down the line as the violence continues to gradually increase.
If there is one thing to keep in mind though, the sooner that a partner picks up on them and takes action, the less entrapped they are likely to become later down the line. Here are some common red flags to watch out for.
Threatening, Bullying or Controlling Behavior
- Acts overly jealous or possessive or accuses their partner of having an affair
- Makes a person feel responsible for their own abuse
- Criticizing, threatening or name-calling
- Tries to control their partner’s appearance or tells them how to look
- Acts out or yells when angry
- Controls finances by withholding credit cards or cash, giving out an allowance, asking for explanations of shared spending or not providing enough money to meet basic needs
- Prevents their partner from working when they want to work
- Steals money or possessions
Cuts Out Social Contacts and Sources of Support
- Needs to know everywhere a partner goes or makes them ask before visiting friends or family
- Publicly embarrasses or shames their partner
- Abandons their partner in an unfamiliar setting by asking them to get out of the vehicle or driving away
- Keeps weapons which they threaten to use on their partner
- Depriving their partner or sleep, food or necessary medical care
- Locks their partner in or out of a car or vehicle
- Acts out against their partner by pushing, pulling hair, punching, biting, slapping kicking, or using weapons on them
- Forces their partner into any type of non-consensual sexual act or contact
- Insists their partner dress is provocative or revealing clothing
- Doesn’t reveal an STD
- Refuses to use birth control
If somebody feels like they are being abused by their partner, they probably are. People have a natural tendency to overlook the flaws in their loved ones, and that creeping feeling is not something that shouldn’t be ignored.
If there is one big thing to watch out for, it is fear.
A partner should never feel afraid of their significant other, and if they do, it’s time to call up a divorce lawyer in Erie for help. No matter how entrapped a person might feel, a professional lawyer in Broomfield can help them navigate a safe way out so that they can reclaim their lives.