The Definition of Domestic Violence May Surprise You
When you think about domestic violence, your mind probably goes to the bruises and cuts that are commonly associated with physical abuse. Domestic abuse laws, however, encompass far more than just physical abuse. In fact, they extend to emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse – all of which can cause considerable harm. In other words, someone does not have to be beaten or bruised to be the victim of domestic violence, and understanding the parameters of this crime can help you better defend yourself from domestic violence charges.
In the State of Texas, domestic violence charges go beyond physical violence against one’s spouse. Domestic violence refers to any kind of abusive activity that takes place in one’s family or household. Domestic violence charges can also apply to anyone with whom the victim has a present or past romantic relationship. If you are facing any form of domestic violence charge, a Gatesville criminal attorney can help.
Emotional abuse usually involves attacking the other person with degrading words and other verbal isolation tactics. Emotional abuse can typically be classified into the following categories:
Making the other feel inferior
Controlling and isolating the other
Sowing chaos in the relationship
Having unrealistic expectations
Invalidating the other
Engaging in emotional blackmail
Emotional abuse can leave the victim feeling alone and helpless, which makes overcoming the abuse all the harder.
Sexual abuse is another form of abuse that does not necessarily involve physical violence (although it can). When one partner forces the other to have sex against his or her will – whether via coercion, manipulation, physical intimidation, or any other unwanted tactic, it can cause considerable damage and is considered abuse. Sexual abuse often leaves the victim with a loss of personal agency that can permeate other areas of his or her life.
Another serious form of what is classified as domestic violence is economic abuse. If one partner wrests control of the other’s finances, it can amount to financial abuse. For example, all of the following can qualify as financial abuse in a marriage or relationship:
Withholding the other’s income
Allowing the other only a small allowance, which limits his or her independence
Requiring the other to obtain permission to make a purchase
Not allowing the other to participate in household financial decisions
Financial abuse can leave the victim isolated and unable to obtain the help necessary to remove himself or herself from the abusive situation.
Do Not Put off Consulting with an Experienced Gatesville Criminal Attorney
If you are facing a domestic violence charge of any kind, the matter is far too serious to proceed without professional legal guidance in your corner, and Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Gatesville, Texas, is a dedicated criminal attorney who can offer you the legal guidance you need and more. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.