Recently, Virginia law enforcement approached you about the domestic assault allegations your partner made against you. You never physically harmed your significant other, but could your words be the reason you face domestic violence charges?
The Office on Women’s Health explains how emotional and verbal abuse fit into the conversation about domestic violence. Learn how the way you make your partner feel may equate to mistreatment.
Signs of non-physical assault
Examples of verbal and emotional abuse include one partner making decisions for the other, threatening self-harm during times of stress with the other partner, threatening to harm the other partner or her or his loved ones, demanding to know the other partner’s whereabouts and activities and blocking the other partner from leaving the house. Non-physical violence also takes the form of public humiliation, hurled insults and demanding access to private information on a phone or social media account.
Origins of non-physical assault
Emotional and verbal assault may crop up from nowhere. The accused abuser may engage in loving, romantic behavior at the beginning of the relationship before the situation sours into psychologically damaging behavior. Sudden shifts may leave abuse victims experiencing confusion, disorientation, shame and embarrassment. Those who experience this kind of abuse may blame themselves for their situation.
Effects of non-physical assault
Noted effects of non-physical domestic violence include anxiety, depression and a loss of agency. The victim may question his or her interpretation of abusive events or make a constant effort to avoid angering the alleged abusive partner. Verbal abuse may also force a person to change her or his personality to keep the peace in the relationship.
Understand the reason that your significant other feels like a non-physical domestic assault victim. Getting the facts helps you build a defense.