When Your Abuser Is Your Spouse or Romantic Partner
Recently, the issues of harassment and abuse have been in the spotlight more than ever before. Allegations of sexual harassment or rape have been made against many influential individuals such as President Donald Trump, Senator Al Franken, actor Kevin Spacey, and film producer Harvey Weinstein. These allegations have sparked a fury of media attention on the issues of harassment and abuse. Time Magazine even dedicated their prestigious “Person of the Year” designation to “the silence breakers”: those women and men who came out with their own stories of violence, intimidation, or harassment. But, what is a person to do if they are suffering at the hands of their own spouse or romantic partner?
Domestic Violence Can Take Many Forms
Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner. When it occurs between spouses or significant others, domestic violence may be referred to as intimate partner violence or relationship abuse. People of all ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions and income levels can become victims of domestic violence. Both men and women can be victims of domestic violence or perpetrators of it. It is unfortunately not uncommon for an abuser to:
- Use coercion or threats to intimidate their partner;
- Destroy their partner’s property;
- Abuse family pets;
- Use insults or call their partner names;
- Manipulate their partner by gaslighting or telling outright lies;
- Purposely humiliate their partner;
- Isolate their partner by refusing to let him or her see or speak to friends and family;
- Prevent their partner from finding their own source of income or disallowing them access to shared income;
- Steal their partner’s paychecks or not allowing them access to their own money;
- Intimidate their partner with guns, knives, or other weapons;
- Force their partner to have sex against their will;
- Lie about birth control, sabotage birth control methods, or force their partner to become pregnant; or
- Physically hurt their partners by pulling hair, biting, punching, pushing, slapping, kicking, choking, or using a weapon against them.
Seek Trusted Legal Help
If you are currently in an abusive relationship, please do not hesitate to seek help. You may need to file for an emergency order of protection and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options going forward and will fight for your rights. No one deserves to be in a violent or abusive relationship. For compassionate legal guidance, contact a skilled DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 for a free, confidential consultation at any one of our three convenient locations today.