Domestic Violence is a difficulty that affects virtually every town, city, country and nation. Domestic Violence covers a broad spectrum of abuse between partners, spouses, members of the family or various other people who live together. Family Violence charges are quite severe. If you are convicted, you could confront prison time and other criminal penalties. A conviction will not only destroy your reputation, but your future as well. You could be refused future employment, housing, academic loans and worse, access to your home and children. At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, we see our clients falsely accused of Domestic Violence all the time. Whether you are innocent or guilty, Houston Family Violence Lawyer Charles Johnson will battle aggressively on your behalf in order to help protect your rights and your future. Contact us Twenty-four Hours A Day, Seven Days A Week for a free of charge consultation.
All too often the news bombards us with news regarding a high-profile Family Violence case, wherein a man or woman is suspected of murdering their wife or husband, with or without a prior history of domestic abuse.
Violence. How can a individual turn from loving and living with a person to beating them up or murdering them? What kind of a person resorts to Domestic Violence against their spouse or domestic intimate partner? What kind of person thinks it is okay to continually humiliate or talk down to their life intimate partner? What kind of an individual has sex with their partner without the person’s consent and desire to participate?
A common pattern of domestic abuse is that the perpetrator alternates between violent, abusive behavior and apologetic behavior with apparently heartfelt promises to change. The abuser may perhaps be quite pleasant most of the time. Therein lies the perpetual appeal of the abusing partner and why many men and women are unable to leave the abusive relationship.
Domestic abuse is most often one of the following:
- child abuse
- abuse of a spouse or domestic intimate partner
- elder abuse
In this article, we examine domestic abuse between spouses and intimate partners: the sorts of domestic abuse, signs and symptoms, causes, and consequences. Family Violence and abuse are popular. The initial step in ending the misery is recognition that the situation is abusive.
What is the definition of domestic abuse between intimate partners?
Domestic abuse between spouses or intimate partners is when one individual in a marital or intimate relationship tries to control the other individual. The perpetrator uses fear and intimidation and will likely threaten to use or may possibly actually use physical violence. Domestic abuse that involves physical violence is designated Domestic Violence.
The victim of domestic abuse or Family Violence may be a man or a woman. Domestic abuse takes place in traditional heterosexual marriages, as well as in same-sex partnerships. The abuse may perhaps occur during a relationship, while the couple is breaking up, or after the relationship has ended.
Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. Family Violence may perhaps even end up in murder.
The key elements of domestic abuse are:
- humiliating the other person
- physical injury
Domestic abuse isn’t really a result of losing control; domestic abuse is purposely trying to control another person. The abuser is purposefully using verbal, nonverbal, or physical means to acquire control over the other person.
In many cultures, command over women by men is accepted as the norm. This article speaks from the orientation that control over intimate partners is domestic abuse within a culture where such control isn’t the norm. Nowadays we see many cultures moving from the subordination of women to increased equality of women within relationships.
What are the sorts of domestic abuse?
The types of domestic abuse are:
- physical abuse (domestic violence)
- verbal or nonverbal abuse (psychological abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse)
- sexual abuse
- stalking or cyberstalking
- economic abuse or financial abuse
- spiritual abuse
The divisions between these kinds of domestic abuse are somewhat fluid, but there is a strong differentiation between the various forms of physical abuse and the various types of verbal or nonverbal abuse.
What is physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Physical abuse is the use of physical force against another person in a way that ends up injuring the individual, or puts the person at risk of being injured. Physical abuse ranges from physical restraint to murder. When someone talks of Domestic Violence, they are often referring to physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner.
Physical assault or physical battering is defined as a criminal offense, whether or not it occurs inside a family or outside the family. The police are empowered to protect you from physical attack.
Physical abuse includes:
- pushing, throwing, kicking
- slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, tripping, battering, bruising, choking, shaking
- pinching, biting
- holding, restraining, confinement
- breaking bones
- assault with a firearm that include a knife or gun
What is emotional abuse or verbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Mental, psychological, or emotional abuse could be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner consists of more subtle actions or behaviors than physical abuse. Although physical abuse may seem worse, the scars of verbal and emotional abuse are deep. Studies show that verbal or nonverbal abuse may be much more emotionally detrimental than physical abuse.
Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner may possibly include:
- threatening or intimidating to obtain compliance
- destruction of the victim’s personal property and assets and possessions, or threats to do this
- violence to an object (such as a wall or piece of furniture) or pet, within the presence of the intended victim, as a way of instilling fear of further violence
- yelling or screaming
- constant harassment
- embarrassing, making fun of, or mocking the victim, either on your own within the household, in public, or in front of family or friends
- criticizing or diminishing the victim’s accomplishments or goals
- not trusting the victim’s decision-making
- telling the victim that they are worthless on their own, without the abuser
- excessive possessiveness, isolation from friends and family
- excessive checking-up on the victim to make sure they are at home or where they said they would be
- saying hurtful things when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and using the substance as an excuse to say the hurtful things
- blaming the victim for how the abuser acts or feels
- making the victim remain on the premises subsequent to a fight, or leaving them somewhere else after a fight, just to “teach them a lesson”
- making the victim feel that there’s no way out of the relationship
What is sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a spouse or intimate partner?
Sexual abuse includes:
- sexual assault: forcing another person to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity
- sexual harassment: ridiculing another person to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices
- sexual exploitation (most notably forcing someone to look at pornography, or forcing someone to participate in pornographic film-making)
Sexual abuse often is linked to physical abuse; they can occur together, or the sexual abuse could possibly occur subsequent to a bout of physical abuse.
What is stalking?
Stalking is harassment of or threatening another person, especially in a way that haunts the person physically or emotionally in a repetitive and devious manner. Stalking of an intimate partner can take place during the relationship, with intense monitoring of the partner’s activities. Or stalking can take place after a partner or spouse has left the relationship. The stalker may very well be trying to get their partner back, or some might wish to harm their partner as punishment for their departure. Regardless of the fine details, the victim fears for their safety.
Stalking can take place at or near the victim’s home, near or in their workplace, on the way to the store or another destination, or on the Internet (cyberstalking). Stalking could be on the phone, in person, or online. Stalkers may possibly never show their face, or some may be everywhere, in individual.
Stalkers employ a number of threatening tactics:
- repeated phone calls, in some instances with hang-ups
- following, tracking (possibly even with a global positioning device)
- finding the person via public records, online searching, or paid investigators
- watching with hidden cameras
- suddenly showing up where the victim is, at home, school, or work
- sending emails; communicating in chat rooms or with instant messaging (cyberstalking: see below)
- sending unwanted packages, cards, gifts, or letters
- monitoring the victim’s phone calls or computer-use
- contacting the victim’s buddies, family, co-workers, or neighbors to find out about the victim
- going through the victim’s garbage
- threatening to hurt the victim or their family, friends, or pets
- damaging the victim’s home, car, or various other assets
Stalking is unpredictable and should always be regarded as dangerous. If another person is
- tracking you,
- contacting you when you do not wish to have get in touch with,
- attempting to control you, or
- frightening you,
then obtain assistance immediately.
What is cyberstalking?
Cyberstalking is the use of telecommunication technologies including the Internet or email to stalk another person. Cyberstalking may be an additional form of stalking, or it could possibly be the sole method the abuser employs. Cyberstalking is deliberate, persistent, and personal.
Spamming with unsolicited email differs from cyberstalking. Spam doesn’t necessarily focus on the individual, as does cyberstalking. The cyberstalker methodically finds and contacts the victim. Much like spam of a sexual nature, a cyberstalker’s message may possibly be disturbing and inappropriate. Also like spam, you cannot stop the contact with a request. In fact, the more you protest or respond, the more rewarded the cyberstalker feels. The recommended response to cyberstalking is not to respond to the contact.
Cyberstalking falls in a grey area of law enforcement. Enforcement of a good number of federal and state stalking laws requires that the victim be directly threatened with an act of violence. Very few law enforcement agencies can act if the threat is only implied.
Regardless of whether you can get stalking laws enforced against cyberstalking, you must treat cyberstalking seriously and protect yourself. Cyberstalking in some instances advances to genuine stalking and to physical violence.
How likely is it that stalking will turn into violence?
Stalking can end in violence regardless of whether or not the stalker threatens violence. And stalking can turn into violence even if the stalker doesn’t have any history of violence.
Women stalkers are just as likely to become violent as are male stalkers.
Those around the stalking victim are also in danger of being injured. For example, a parent, spouse, or bodyguard who makes the stalking victim unattainable could very well be injured or killed as the stalker pursues the stalking victim.
What is economic or financial abuse of a spouse or domestic partner?
Economic or financial abuse involves:
- withholding economic resources that include money or credit cards
- stealing from or defrauding a partner of money or assets
- exploiting the intimate partner’s resources for personal gain
- withholding physical resources including food, clothes, necessary medications, or shelter from a partner
- preventing the spouse or intimate partner from working or choosing an occupation
What is spiritual abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?
Spiritual abuse includes:
- using the spouse’s or intimate partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate them
- preventing the partner from practicing their religious or spiritual beliefs
- ridiculing the other person’s religious or spiritual beliefs
- forcing the children to be reared in a faith that the partner has not agreed to
How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship? What are the signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship?
The more of the following questions that you answer Yes to, the more likely you are in an abusive relationship. Examine your answers and obtain guidance if you find that you respond positively to a large number of the questions.
Your inner feelings and dialogue: Fear, self-loathing, numbness, desperation
- Are you fearful of your partner a large percentage of the time?
- Do you steer clear of certain topics or spend a lot of time figuring out how to discuss certain topics so that you do not arouse your partner’s negative reaction or anger?
- Do you ever feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
- Do you ever feel so badly about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt?
- Have you lost the love and respect that you once had for your partner?
- Do you in some instances wonder if you are the one who is crazy, that maybe you are overreacting to your partner’s behaviors?
- Do you in some cases fantasize about ways to kill your partner to get them out of your life?
- Are you afraid that your partner could possibly try to kill you?
- Are you afraid that your partner will try to take your children away from you?
- Do you feel that there is nowhere to turn for guidance?
- Are you feeling emotionally numb?
- Were you abused as a child, or did you grow up with Domestic Violence within the household? Does domestic violence seem normal to you?
Your partner’s lack of control over their own behavior
- Does your partner have low self-esteem? Do they appear to feel powerless, ineffective, or inadequate in the world, although they are outwardly successful?
- Does your partner externalize the causes of their own behavior? Do they blame their violence on stress, alcohol, or a “bad day”?
- Is your partner unpredictable?
- Is your partner a pleasant person between bouts of violence?
Your partner’s violent or threatening behavior
- Does your partner have a bad temper?
- Has your partner ever threatened to injure you or kill you?
- Has your partner ever physically hurt you?
- Has your partner threatened to take your children away from you, especially if you try to leave the relationship?
- Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide, especially as a way of keeping you from leaving?
- Has your partner ever forced you to have sex when you didn’t want to?
- Has your partner threatened you at work, either in person or on the phone?
- Is your partner cruel to animals?
- Does your partner destroy your belongings or household objects?
Your partner’s controlling behavior
- Does your partner try to keep you from seeing your pals or family?
- Are you embarrassed to invite buddies or family over to your house mainly because of your partner’s behavior?
- Has your partner limited your access to money, the telephone, or the car?
- Does your partner try to stop you from going where you would like to go outside of the house, or from doing what you would like to do?
- Is your partner jealous and possessive, asking where you are going and where you have been, as if checking up on you? Do they accuse you of having an affair?
Your partner’s diminishment of you
- Does your partner verbally abuse you?
- Does your partner humiliate or criticize you in front of others?
- Does your partner often ignore you or put down your opinions or contributions?
- Does your partner always insist that they are right, even though they are clearly wrong?
- Does your partner blame you for their own violent behavior, saying that your behavior or attitudes cause them to be violent?
- Is your partner often outwardly angry with you?
- Does your partner objectify and disrespect those of your gender? Does your partner see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
In my workplace, what are the warning signs that an individual is a victim of Family Violence?
Domestic Violence often plays out within the workplace. For instance, a husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend might make threatening phone calls to their intimate partner or ex-partner. Or the worker could very well show injuries from physical abuse at home.
In the event you witness a cluster of the following warning signs in the workplace, you can reasonably suspect domestic abuse:
- Bruises and other signs of impact on the skin, with the excuse of “accidents”
- Depression, crying
- Frequent and sudden absences
- Frequent lateness
- Frequent, harassing phone calls to the individual while they are at work
- Fear of the partner, references to the partner’s anger
- Decreased productivity and attentiveness
- Isolation from friends and family
- Insufficient resources to live (money, credit cards, car)
If you do recognize signs of domestic abuse in a co-worker, consult your Human Resources department. The Human Resources staff ought to be able to assist the victim without any your further involvement.
Who abuses their spouse or intimate partner?
Domestic abuse knows no age or ethnic boundaries.
Domestic abuse can occur during a relationship or after a relationship has ended.
Most psychological, medical, and legal specialists agree that the vast majority of physical abusers are men. However, women can also be the perpetrators of Family Violence.
The majority of stalkers are also men stalking women. But stalkers can also be women stalking men, men stalking men, or women stalking women.
Houston Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
As the justice system has come to recognize the social and legal effects of domestic violence, the penalties for conviction of domestic assault have become steeper. This is why it is so important to consult a lawyer who is familiar with your local court system. Seek the assistance of an competent attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas to learn more about what you can do to assert and protect your rights.
Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
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by Charles Johnson
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