Basics on domestic violence: What should I look for?

Scared woman by a violent man - Domestic Violence
Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Carlos Lopez

If you have experienced domestic violence during or after a divorce proceeding, it is important that you have the answers to some questions you may have asked yourself so that you can hire a specialized attorney to handle your case and obtain an outcome in your favor.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence encompasses any attempt by one person within a marriage or intimate relationship to dominate and control the other.

The purpose of domestic violence (and abuse) is to gain and maintain total control over the abused person.

A frequent abuser never “plays fair”, instead uses fear, guilt, shame and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her control, and may even do this to your children or other family members living together.

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone. People of all sexual orientations, ages, ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic levels can be affected by it. In many cases, women are often victims, but men are also abused, especially verbally and emotionally.

Be clear, abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether by a man, a woman, a teenager or an older adult.

If I have been a victim of domestic violence, what should I do?

Don’t wait until you are in an emergency situation to seek help if you feel you are suffering from abuse or domestic violence.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to tell someone close to you and remember that you are not alone.

You can also:

  • Talk to a doctor, health visitor or nurse and discuss your case with them.
  • If you are a woman, you can call 202-466-4615 at any time of the day. They will offer you information and quick support for your situation.
  • If you are a man, call 202-543-5566 for information and support.
  • If it is an emergency, call 911.

What are the most common signs of domestic violence to watch for?

There are different types of abuse, don’t forget that this is about power and control over you.

Review the information below and if you answer yes to any of these questions, you are most likely in an abusive relationship.

Emotional Abuse

Has your partner ever:

  • Put you down (in public or in private)?
  • Verbally abused you in an argument?
  • Isolated you from your family and friends?
  • Denied that he/she treats you badly or simply said that if he/she treats you badly, it doesn’t matter?
  • Prevents you from studying or going to work?
  • Does he/she demand excessive attention in any situation?
  • Accuse you of flirting or having affairs without it being true?
  • Does he/she force you to dress in a special way, decide who you can see and what you should think or say?
  • Does he/she control your money or only give you what you need for basic necessities?
  • Does he keep an eye on your social media profiles or use GPS trackers to know where you are?

Threats and intimidation

Has your partner ever:

  • Threatened to hurt or kill you?
  • Destroyed your property?
  • Invaded your personal space?
  • Has he/she threatened to kill himself/herself or your children?
  • Checked your e-mails, SMS, mobile phone or letters?
  • Stalked or followed you without your knowledge?

Physical abuse

The person who physically hurts you can do so in several ways.

Has your partner ever:

  • Slapped, hit, or punched you?
  • Pushed you?
  • Bit you or kicked you?
  • Burned you?
  • Tried to choke you or held you tightly causing you pain?
  • Thrown objects at you?

Domestic Violence Lawyer in Washington, D.C.

If you have been a victim of domestic violence and want to start a legal process, trust the team at Lopez Law, we can help assess the strength of the case, give advice and defend your rights. Schedule your consultation today!