Some people get along well enough in their marriages that incidents of domestic violence don’t ever happen. But for the other 12 million women and men who are victims of partner violence, this unfortunately isn’t the case. Every marriage has ups and downs and not everyone has the skills to handle them with ease. When people cannot deal with the challenges of life in the right way, they can get angry, frustrated, and disappointed, potentially triggering a violent streak that may be taken out on the other spouse.
If you are someone who has become a victim to your spouse’s aggressive ways and have finally chosen to file for divorce with a domestic violence lawyer in Arlington, TX, here are some things to keep in mind so you can remain safe during this time:
Your Safety Comes First
It can take upwards of a year or longer before divorce is finalized, and you have to get yourself somewhere safe before this process begins. By remaining in the home with your spouse as the divorce is proceeding, it is putting you and your children at severe risk of worsened harm. You need to speak with an attorney so they can help you file a restraining order and other forms of protection, so your spouse is dissuaded from contacting you in any way.
If you are in immediate danger, call the police and find yourself somewhere safe to stay that your spouse isn’t aware of, such as a hotel, family member they haven’t met, or domestic violence shelter.
Defining What Domestic Violence Is, and Isn’t
Falling out of love with a partner with already violent ways can trigger even more intense negative feelings and behaviors. These raging emotions within an unhealthy person can manifest in very harmful ways, setting an environment for domestic violence to occur. Domestic violence can be a pattern of abusive behavior that is physical, mental, and/or financial. It can happen to any person no matter their age, sexual preference, ethnic background, social status, or gender.
Physical domestic violence is defined as:
- Shoving or pushing
- Scratching or grabbing
- Spitting or biting
- Throwing objects to intimidate or cause harm
- Threatening to harm you, your children and/or pets
- Disrupting sleep to make you feel exhausted
- Sexual abuse
- Threatening or attacking with a weapon
- Threats or real attempts to kill you
Mental/psychological abuse is when actions are used to hurt your emotional well being or control you. It can be verbal or non-verbal, and include any of the following:
- Manipulating your children
- Name calling, using humiliation
- Yelling in your face
- Standing in a menacing manner
- Controlling what you can and cannot do
- Making it difficult for you to see loved ones
- Being overly jealous
- Monitoring your phone calls, texts, and emails
Financial abuse can occur when the abusive spouse makes their partner feel dependent on them, and can transpire through:
- Destroying employment opportunities
- Stalking or harassing victim at workplace
- Forbidding you from going to school or work
- Withholding money
- Preventing you from using your vehicle so you can’t get to work or school
- Denying access to your own bank accounts
- Accumulating debt in your name
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law and dealing with a violent spouse during divorce.