Domestic and Relationship Violence
How do you know the signs?
When it comes to domestic violence, there are alarming numbers – 1.5 million people will experience intimate partner violence, even though only 20% of those people will obtain a civil protection order.
There are some things you have to ask yourself when you believe you may be in an abusive relationship. For instance, here are some warning signs.
- Your partner keeps track of how you spend your time and checks up on you as if they do not trust you.
- They constantly accuse you of being unfaithful to them.
- They discourage your relationships with family and friends.
- They call you named and take to humiliating you.
- They drink and do drugs, and then proceed to get violent and take their anger out on you.
- They blame you for the anger and abuse and tell you that everything is your fault.
- They prevent you from working, attending school, or going out with others.
- They criticize you for little things, like you can’t do simple things on your own.
- They control all of your finances and force you to account for what you spend.
- They let you or your children go without basic needs.
- They tell you that you’re crazy or that the abuse is not happening.
- They threaten to hurt you, your children, your family, and friends.
What are the phases of an abusive relationship?
In the beginning, you may find yourself in the honeymoon phase. In this phase, the abuser demonstrates loving behavior, like giving you gifts and flowers. They may do little, special things for you. The abuser is apologetic and makes promises to change. They make the victim trust them, believe that things will actually change, and trust in their promises.
Next comes the tension-building phase. In this phase, the abuser becomes edgy and has minor explosions. He or she may become verbally abusive, where some hitting and slapping incidents may begin. The victim will begin to feel tense and afraid, like they are “walking on eggshells” with the abuser.
Lastly, the explosive phase begins. The tension will become unbearable and the abuser explodes. In this phase, the most severe abuse will occur. The victim will feel as if they need to cover up the injury or they may seek help.
Does abuse happen in teenage relationships?
The numbers in abusive teen relationships are outstanding – an alarming 28% of relationships involving teens end
in abuse of some kind. There are some very unique characteristics involved in teen relationships. For instance,
teens will naturally isolate themselves from adults and may believe that spending all of their time with a partner is what you do when you are in love, as if it is ‘part of the norm.’ Furthermore, teens may believe that jealousy and control are signs of being in love. They may be reluctant to seek help because they do not want to put their newly acquired independence at risk.
Many teens do not know it at the time, but they have rights and responsibilities as far as dating is concerned. Some rights may include a refusal to date without feeling guilty, to say no to physical closeness, to have an equal relationship and end one if necessary, to have your own feelings and be able to express them, to be heard, and to have friends other than your dating partner. As far as responsibilities are concerned, you are able to ask for a date and accept no for an answer at any time, determine your own limits and values, to ask for help when you need it, and to be considerate.
What are the effects of domestic violence on children?
Children unfortunately suffer the ill effects of domestic violence each year when abuse takes place in the household. What many couples have to remember is that children who live in homes where abuse is more likely to occur, will also become victims of the violence. Sometimes a fight may end in an injury due to an act of violence, or a child may feel helpless or blame themselves for not standing up to the violence.
Children affected by violence may experience high levels of anxiety, experience symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or even experience difficulties in a school setting. Children who live in homes that are violent may act out and behave violently, because violence is a learned behavior.
There are behavioral characteristics like bed-wetting, nail-biting, thumb-sucking, self mutilation, anxiety, headaches, and tummy aches.
There are also emotional injuries such as low self-esteem, fearful, insecure, delayed emotional development, lack of bonding, depression, and feelings of guilt.
What violence prevention measures can be taken?
In a situation where you feel like you are in immediate danger, you should always call 911. If you are actively being abused or know somebody who is being abused, you can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 or visit www.ndvh.org.
Information on Restraining Orders
A domestic violence restraining order is an order that helps protect you from someone who is abusive. There is also no filing fee for filing a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. A restraining order in place can stop a person from having contact with or going near the protected person, stop a person from having a gun or firearm while the order is in effect, move a person from the house, provide custody, visitation, and support orders when there are children, or require one person to pay bills or release property to another.
It is also important to note that one must appear in court to receive a restraining order. You have to attend a hearing in person and the other person will be present at this hearing, in order for the request to be granted.
At the law office of Soheila Azizi & Associates in California, an attorney will work with you if you are having issues with domestic violence and need help. If you are a victim of domestic assault or have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, we are able to help you. We provide a full range of family services, including applying for and defending restraining orders, enforcing protective orders, and helping victims keep their families safe. We are your law firm for life. Contact us online to schedule a consultation today.