Domestic Violence Awareness Month Tip #13 — Not Just Physical; What Constitutes Domestic Abuse?
Domestic violence is usually thought of as battering and characterized by behaviors ranging from shaking and shoving to marital rape to murder. Legally, however, domestic abuse may or may not include physical violence!
Domestic abuse includes a wide range of non-physical behavior such as emotional cruelty (explosive temper tantrums, intimidation via threats of violence, forced isolation from family, friends and avenues of assistance); constant belittling and insults (when alone or in front of others); extreme possessiveness and accusations of infidelity (especially if the person gets even minute attention from the opposite sex); stalking; forms of torture like sleep or food deprivation; taking away clothes to imprison the person in the home; and destroying the person’s property or harming beloved pets.
Domestic abuse can also be financial including controlling the finances and bill paying, making the person beg for money and/or not allowing the person to work outside the home so the person is financially dependent on the abuser.
Bottom line: Whether it’s a punch to the jaw or a verbal jab, it’s domestic abuse…and it’s inexcusable!