What do you know about non-physical domestic violence?
While a person may never lay hands on a partner, she or he may still face domestic violence charges. Not all violence involves physical abuse.
REACH explores various types of non-physical domestic violence. Understanding different examples of abuse may help accused parties build a defense and understand their legal situation.
Psychological domestic violence involves weaponizing actions and words to damage a partner’s sense of well-being and health. The abusive partner could make the victim question her or his sense of reality by denying certain events happened, turning down lights and moving important items, like a purse or car keys. The victim may depend on and trust the abuser’s perspective more than her or his own.
Rather than striking a partner with physical blows, some domestic abusers use words to inflict harm. Verbal abuse involves name-calling and using words to chip away at a person’s self-esteem. Compared to physical abuse, individuals often have a harder time identifying and proving emotional and verbal abuse.
When one partner prevents the other from dressing in a way that represents a cultural identity, that could become cultural abuse. Other examples include forbidding a partner from eating foods specific to a culture and hurling racial slurs.
Domestic abusers may exert control over a partner through financial abuse. Examples of this type of non-physical domestic violence include controlling the household budget, forbidding the victim from opening a bank account, opening credit cards in the victim’s name and preventing the victim from getting a job.
Those accused of domestic violence deserve to understand where the charges stem from. When they have the facts, they could make well-informed choices.