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3 Forms of Marital Abuse

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 4-Oct-2012

All possible red flags of abusive relationships should be seriously taken into consideration. Perhaps your relationship doesn't seem as abusive as the latest show on TV, but any form of abuse is just plain abuse – no matter how small or big it may feel at the time.

In this blog I have listed some types of abuse which a spouse may suffer from; this is not an exhaustive list. If you feel that you are a victim/survivor of abuse please contact a professional or the hotline listed at the end of this entry. There is absolutely no reason a victim or survivor of abuse should continue to feel humiliation or fear.

The type of abuse most people are familiar with is physical abuse. Physical abuse is when there is contact that can have the intention of causing intimidation and/or cause bodily harm. Here are some examples of physical abuse:

  1. Throwing objects;
  2. Pulling hair;
  3. Spitting on a spouse;
  4. Spouse not helping you when you are pregnant, injured or sick;
  5. Pushing; or
  6. Spouse abandoning you in a dangerous place.

Emotional abuse happens to an individual when his/her spouse humiliates or threatens him/her. Spouses can say something hurtful in a heated argument, but when this becomes a pattern of the way you are treated then it's most likely emotional abuse. Sometimes victims don't believe this type of abuse is serious because there are no physical scars. This type of abuse is extremely damaging and should not be downplayed. Also, this type of abuse often leads to physical abuse. Here are some examples of emotional abuse:

  1. Isolating a spouse (control internet/phone usage, not allowing contact with other people – including friends and family, being punished for spending time away from your spouse);
  2. Emotionally abusive spouses may not take any responsibility for their actions. Often they will blame their spouse;
  3. Ignoring a spouse (silent treatment, lack of affection, failure to recognize spouse's presence);
  4. A spouse may create an environment of fear (intimidate you with fear);
  5. Entitlement. A spouse may believe s/he is entitled to being waited on hand and foot by you. You don't get any help from your spouse and are expected to look after every whim or need.

Financial Abuse is often overlooked because spouses are just not aware of this type of abuse. Often the manipulation of money is used to control a spouse, especially in the ability to leave an abusive husband/wife. Here are some examples of financial abuse:

  1. Your spouse takes away the income you have earned;
  2. Your spouse makes you account for every single penny;
  3. Your spouse handles all the financial accounts, none are in your name;
  4. Your spouse will not allow you to continue your education;
  5. Your spouse will not let you work;
  6. You are forced to work and your spouse refuses to work, yet s/he controls the money; or
  7. Your spouse gives you less money than you can live on.

These are only three form of abuse found in a marriage which can lead to an uncontested divorce. For further guidance or help seek a professional or contact the hotline below.

Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) for more information or help.

They are available 24/7 every day of the year.