Acts of domestic abuse are typically driven by feelings of insecurity and fear. Abusers often use physical and psychological tactics to dominate and manipulate their partners. This behavior stems from a pathological need to control the thoughts, actions, and needs of another person. The paradox is that the abuser is truly the weak one in the relationship, but tries to hide this fact by directly assaulting the confidence and autonomy of their partner. Understanding the signs, patterns, and dynamics of an abusive relationship is often the first step in escaping the cycle of abuse.
Abusive relationships can take many forms:
- Social abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
Every relationship is unique, and, unfortunately, this also applies to relationships that have been hollowed and strained by actions of violence and abuse. There is only one commonality that defines every abusive relationship: one partner is afraid of the other. Tragically, most domestic abuse victims are too afraid to seek the legal help their situation deserves. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 18,000 women have been killed in domestic violence incidents since 2003. Advocacy groups and public health agencies have been working tirelessly to spread domestic abuse awareness nationwide.
Common signs of domestic abuse include:
- Threats of violence
- Acts of physical battery (hitting, slapping, choking)
- Manipulating your actions
- Isolating you from friends and loved ones
- Hurting your children or pets as a means of controlling you
- Acting jealous and possessive of your time and attention
- Insulting and humiliating you
- Stalking you and reading your personal correspondences
- Forcing or coercing you to participate in sexual acts
- Controlling your finances or spending
Escaping an Abusive Relationship
Recognizing that you’re in an abusive relationship is the first step in escaping it. The next steps can be a little more complicated; in fact, it can even be life-threatening. If you can, seek legal aid and work with a domestic violence attorney to obtain a restraining order.
As previously stated, abusers are notoriously insecure, and may use different tactics to manipulate you into staying. To end this cycle, take note of the following maneuvers that your partner may use to keep you from leaving:
- Crippling your self-esteem to make you feel that it’s impossible to start over
- Instigate tension to keep you “walking on eggshells” and afraid of their reactions
- Using extreme physical violence to make you fear leaving
- Trick you into thinking they can change
- Introduce a “honeymoon phase” to make you believe “things will be different this time”
Break the Cycle by Taking Legal Action
At Arnold Law Group, APC, our Fresno domestic violence lawyers have helped many clients secure legal protections against violent partners. California offers three types of restraining orders: emergency protective orders, temporary restraining orders, and permanent restraining orders. Our firm can help you compile the necessary evidence, develop a safe escape plan, and guide you through the entirely of this legal process. With our assistance, you can obtain a protective order that safeguards your life.
Contact Arnold Law Group, APC at (559) 900-1263 if you require legal guidance.