Recognizing the Signs of Domestic Abuse
While you are in a relationship, it may difficult to recognize the signs of domestic abuse. However, just as you may recognize the symptoms of an illness, there are signs to be aware of that show that you may be a victim of abuse. It is important to recognize these signs and take steps to protect yourself and your family from harm.
What Is Domestic Abuse?
In Illinois, physical harm, willful restriction of personal liberties, threats, harassment, and stalking are all considered domestic abuse. Accusations of abuse are very serious, and they could lead to criminal consequences such as jail time or fines, as well as decisions in family court that affect divorce proceedings and the allocation of parental responsibility, or child custody.
The signs of domestic abuse may not be obvious to you, especially when the abuse is emotional as opposed to physical. Look out for these signs of abuse in your relationship:
- Emotional abuse: A person who is emotionally abusive will play manipulation games in an attempt to keep control over their victim. This may include purposely driving a person to think they are “crazy” or guilty of something. An emotionally abusive partner may not realize what they are doing is hurtful, but the end result is diminished self-esteem and self-worth for the victim.
- Intimidation: An abusive person may make and carry out threats to emotionally or physically harm the victim. Physical intimidation may include damage to personal property or pets. Weapons, such as a gun or knife, may also be used to intimidate a victim physically. Intimidation can also take the form of emotional threats, such as threatening to leave, remove financial support, or harm themselves out of spite if the victim does not agree to the abuser’s demands.
- Money: A spouse may be using finances to keep control over their partner. For instance, they may distribute an “allowance” to their partner, treating them like a child or subordinate. A financially abusive partner may also maintain financial control by preventing their spouse from getting or keeping a job.
- Isolation: A domestic abuser may seek to control their partner by relentlessly asking about everything about the victims’ life, and not in a supportive way. Using jealousy to justify their feelings, an abuser will control who and where a victim can visit.
Contact a Joliet, IL Domestic Violence Attorney
Nobody deserves to be the victim of abuse. Fortunately, there are legal actions available to help you escape an abusive situation. An order of protection can protect your safety by preventing an abuser from having access to you and/or your children. An experienced Will County family law attorney from Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help you secure an order of protection and ensure that you have the resources you need as you leave an abusive situation. Call 815-726-9200 for a free consultation.