Domestic violence includes harmful behaviors as distinct as physical assault, threats of physical assault, sexual improprieties, the stripping away of financial autonomy, stalking, imprisonment, and undermining one’s state of mind. Domestic violence is a common reason for divorce.
The psychological effect of domestic violence is deeply cruel and can affect every person in the household. Abused individuals often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and a damaged sense of confidence and self-esteem. This psychological undermining can reduce a person to helplessness, making them unable to decide if they should leave the abuser.
Economic abuse occurs when an abuser seeks to make a family member financially dependent. They may be held to a tiny allowance or given no money at all. In some cases, abusers are jealous and want to keep the victims at home, effectively imprisoned and under control. Such victims are not allowed to hold down jobs.
One common element in all family abuse is that it imposes control over another member of the household, depriving them of functioning as an independent agent. Domestic violence affects the person directly abused, but it can also affect family and household members around that person. Every year, it is estimated that one in 15 children is exposed to this kind of abuse. Many of these children witness the violence firsthand.
Research suggests that between three and four million children aged three to 17 years old may be victims or witnesses of domestic violence every year. Witnessing can mean seeing incidents of abuse, hearing sounds or threats of abuse, or seeing with their own eyes the bruises, cuts, ripped clothing, and items broken or destroyed in the fight.
Perhaps worst of all is the psychological aftermath of an attack. Fear, anxiety, and tension can consume a person to worry that it may start all over again. It can be triggered by signs that are harmless, like the garage door opening when a parent returns from work. It is not uncommon for children to imagine that they caused the violence in some way, or that they can prevent an occurrence by being good. Children sometimes see that their mother or a sibling needs to see a doctor, but the abuser will not let them go. The entire household feels terror that the cycle of abuse and silence will begin again.
Domestic violence is the pattern of abusive behaviors that are designed to maintain power and control over an intimate partner, including repeated physical, sexual, emotional, or financial cruelties. Domestic abuse is not a one-time event. Children typically witness traumatic events repeatedly, as well as live with the aftermath of each violent assault.
If you or other family members are being victimized by any form of domestic violence, call the experienced Eatontown divorce lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. Call us today at 732-493-9400 or contact us online for a free consultation.
We are centrally located in Eatontown, New Jersey, and we represent clients throughout the state, including the areas of Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Ocean Township, Fair Haven, Eatontown, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Middletown Township, Wall Township, Sea Girt, and Spring Lake.