Spousal abuse is a pattern of behavior used to dominate and establish and maintain power or control over a domestic partner or family member. Whether its violence, intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, or isolation to bully and control the other person, these techniques of spousal abuse are damaging. Violence doesn't have to occur often as long as the potential for violence is a constantly present terrorizing factor.
We typically look for bruises or broken bones to identify spousal abuse, but they may not always be there. Spousal abuse will, however, leave the intangible emotional scars no matter whom the victim is. Whether it is an infant, child, spouse, or elderly parent, the effects of spousal abuse run deep in the mind.
Spousal abuse includes any type of violence or damaging mistreatment that a man or woman experiences at the hands of a marital, common-law or same-sex partner. Spousal abuse may occur while a relationship is breaking down, after it has ended, or at any time during a relationship.
Spousal abuse has several different forms, and a victim is usually subjected to more than one form. Spousal abuse can be physical, emotional, or even sexual.
Physical spousal abuse may consist of just one incident or may be a recurring event. Any time physical force is used in a way that injures someone or subjects him or her to the risk of being injured is spousal abuse. Beating, hitting, shaking, pushing, choking, biting, burning, kicking, or assaulting with a weapon are all unacceptable behaviors. Physical spousal abuse may also include rough handling, confinement, or any dangerous or harmful use of force or restraint.
Sexual spousal abuse and exploitation includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, or sexual exploitation. Being married or in a relationship does not justify you being subjected to this type of treatment. Sexual spousal abuse can be forcing someone to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity, or control his or her sexuality or reproductive choices.
Emotional spousal abuse can include verbal attacks like yelling, screaming, and name-calling. Using criticism, verbal threats, social isolation, intimidation, or exploitation to dominate another person are other forms of emotional spousal abuse. Spousal abuse can also consist of criminal harassment or "stalking" and may include threatening a person or their loved ones, damaging their possessions, or harming their pets.
If you or a loved one are being subjected to spousal abuse and are afraid of retaliation, help is available for you and your children. Contact an experienced attorney today to put an end to the pain and suffering.
Find a Lawyer Now
Search for a Criminal Law lawyer in your state or province by using the forms to the right.