Those accused of domestic violence may struggle to think of when they displayed abuse to a significant other. Such harm does not look the same in every situation.
The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence explores the many faces domestic violence takes. Those charged should understand where accusations stem from to mount a defense.
Rather than laying hands on a significant other, domestic violence centered on control involves behavior intended to establish dominance over a significant other. Examples include forbidding a person from making phone calls and checking numbers to see who a person calls, invading another’s privacy, forcing a person to dress a certain way and arriving home early to “check-up” on a romantic partner.
Even if a person does not physically strike or harm a significant other, she or he may face accusations of emotional domestic violence. Such abuse involves criticizing, threatening or accusing. A person viewed as emotionally abusive could make a partner question her or his reality, which is commonly called “gaslighting.” An emotional abuser may harm another’s self-worth or self-image.
When a person blocks a romantic partner from accessing funds, that may become a form of financial domestic abuse. Having a hidden account and keeping a person from accessing family funds represent additional forms of economic abuse. One goal of such domestic violence is to control another person through financial manipulation.
Behavior perceived as abusive may have various long- and short-term consequences. Learning more about domestic violence and its effects may help those accused of the act pinpoint potentially problematic behavior in their relationships.