Illustration of a woman in a cage representing domestic violence.

Know The Law: Domestic Violence

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 33% of women and 25% of men have experienced some form of physical violence from a partner. This means that the recognition and explanation of what domestic violence is in a legal sense could help 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men.

Domestic violence is defined broadly as a pattern of behaviors used by one member of an intimate relationship to maintain power and control over another partner.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines domestic violence, labeled “intimate partner violence,” in four broad categories:

  • Physical Violence

The most commonly understood form of domestic violence, physical violence is defined as any attempt to hurt the other partner using physical force. Some groups including the National Domestic Violence Hotline also define physical abuse as harming the other partner’s pets or children or abandoning them somewhere unfamiliar.

  • Sexual Violence

One of the most disturbing forms of domestic violence, sexual violence occurs when one partner forces the other to engage in any form of sexual behavior. This includes non-physical behavior such as sending intimate photos when the partner does not or cannot consent.

  • Stalking

Stalking is also a separate crime defined as repeated unwanted attention from one partner. This includes any harassing behavior aimed at the partner, their family, friends, or coworkers. 

  • Psychological Violence 

Though difficult to immediately identify, psychological violence is any verbal or non-verbal communication with the intent to damage the other partner’s emotional or mental stability. This can range from making deprecating comments to moving objects around the house without the other partner’s knowledge to convince them their sense of reality is incorrect. Behaviors meant to mentally control the other partner also fall into this category such as depriving the partner of contact with other people or withholding meals. 

If you or a loved one are in an abusive relationship, separation is the first step. This could include divorce or annulment. The best way to ensure that this separation is as effective as possible is to contact a Divorce and Family Law attorney.

An experienced Divorce and Family Law attorney can use legal interventions to force space between partners, ensuring that legally the abusive partner is not allowed to be near and imposing rigid consequences for failing to obey those rules. Additionally, having an advocate in court on your behalf means that the abusive partner cannot bully you into accepting terms contrary to your self-interest. 

The most effective Divorce and Family Law attorneys will include a restraining order or other protective measures in the divorce agreement itself. The best place to find effective Divorce and Family Law attorneys is with Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our nationwide network of attorneys and law firms allows us to match you with an attorney in your area. Our partners have the experience, legal expertise, and resources to protect your interests. Additionally, our partners have exceptional records for client care and will do their best to protect your interests.

Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no obligation consultation and begin your journey to liberation.

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