Divorce can be a very emotional time for both spouses, and ending a marriage can be a difficult decision to reach. Sometimes the reasons leading up to divorce can be complicated and confusing. In some divorce situations, domestic violence may even play a role.
Domestic violence can take many forms. Statistically, women are more commonly the victims of domestic violence. Some forms of domestic abuse can include:
- Sexual abuse. Trying to pressure someone into sexual activity without consent is considered sexual abuse. Marital rape can happen, and is a form of sexual abuse. Forcing sexual acts after violent behavior is also sexual abuse.
- Physical abuse. Includes any activity that can physically harm a victim. Hitting, punching, slapping, pushing and biting are all forms of physical abuse.
- Financial abuse. Making a victim financially dependent is considered economic or financial abuse. It may mean the primary wage-earner controls all financial resources, or prevents his spouse from earning a degree or holding a steady job.
- Emotional abuse. Includes activity that undermines the victim’s self-esteem and self-worth. Severe criticism, verbal abuse or affecting a parent-child relationship can be viewed as emotional abuse.
- Psychological abuse. Intimidation, threats, humiliation, blame and destruction are all forms of psychological abuse. Severe dominance over or isolation of the victim can also be signs of psychological abuse.
Sexual abuse and physical abuse are both considered criminal behaviors, and can have much more severe consequences than a spouse filing for divorce against the abuser.
Emotional abuse itself is not considered a criminal act, though the actions of emotional abuse can lead to other abuse that might be viewed as criminal behavior.
Financial and psychological abuse, while not criminal, can be equally detrimental to a victim’s mind. If you are a victim of domestic violence, consider contacting your local authorities or calling 9-1-1 for immediate help.
A local divorce lawyer may also be a good resource to help understand domestic violence and how it can negatively affect a marriage. Victims of domestic violence can file for divorce and learn their rights by talking with a local divorce lawyer.
The above summary is by no means all-inclusive and is for informational purposes only. This is not legal advice.