Domestic violence isn’t always easy to recognize. Non-physical abuse includes intimidation, threats of violence, coercion, and financial control.
But the intimidation that many people experience leads to lasting psychological scars that impact victims, their children, and entire families.
Understanding how emotional abuse and intimidation are used against others is the first step in recognizing its signs early on.
Having the right legal support helps victims remove themselves from dangerous environments and protect their wellbeing.
What is Emotional Abuse?
Most people think about the physical harm that occurs in cases of domestic abuse. But domestic violence includes any actions that incite fear or intimidation in another person.
Each case is unique. But domestic violence often consists of different kinds of abuse. Emotional abuse and intimidation can go hand-in-hand with physical violence.
But it can be hard to recognize. Family members and friends may not know that their loved ones are being subjected to non-physical forms of violence.
Emotional abuse and intimidation can have lasting effects that can be just as damaging as physical violence. They can be used against spouses, children, former partners, and extended family members.
Recognizing Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse causes victims to experience mental and emotional trauma resulting in feelings of low self-esteem, guilt, anxiety, and depression.
Intimidation robs victims of their independence. It affects their professional life and ability to earn an income. Financial control is another way that abusers prevent victims from escaping the relationship.
The following are examples of emotional abuse:
- Blaming victims for relationship challenges
- Public humiliation
- Comparisons to others to lower self-esteem
- Threats of violence
- Online harassment
- Isolating and controlling a person’s activities
Victims of emotional abuse may blame themselves for the problems in their relationships. This makes it even more difficult for them to remove themselves from the abusive environment.
Victims may experience changes in their personality. They may withdraw from outside relationships and become less social. Symptoms of anxiety and depression are common, and victims can become suicidal over time.
The Legal Protection You Need to End Emotional Abuse
The right legal resources can protect you and your family from domestic violence. A family law attorney can help you get out of the relationship while protecting you and your family.
Gathering evidence of physical, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse is critical to this process. But this can be a challenge in emotional abuse cases since they rarely involve the injuries seen in physical abuse cases.
Working with a skilled family law attorney helps you gather the evidence needed to hold your abuser accountable. It can also result in more severe penalties for the guilty party.
You can file a restraining order to protect you and your family’s wellbeing. There are many legal options available to you. Your family law attorney will help you determine the best strategy for your case.
Emotional abuse can lead to psychological damages that impact entire families. Getting the legal protection you need helps you end the abuse and create a secure future for you and your loved ones.