Lesser-Known Types of Domestic Abuse

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The typical stereotype of domestic violence case is that of a battered woman trying to leave someone who hits her. She is trapped in the relationship and unable to protect herself and her children. While this may be the case in some homes, there are many other types of abuse. Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Larsen Law Firm would like to shed some light on this very serious issue.

“There are many types of abuse that can fly under the radar and are less obvious,” says a leading divorce attorney in Provo. “The problem is that since they are less visible, they are harder to identify and ultimately, in a divorce, prove.”

Financial abuse

Financial abuse is simply when one spouse controls the family finances and the other spouse doesn’t have access to accounts, doesn’t know where the money goes, and may not even know about how much their spouse earns. While this was common in the past, it is often a type of abuse that is used to exert control over someone. This abusive behavior often coexists with other abusive patterns.

Spiritual abuse

With the religious climate of Utah County, spiritual abuse is sometimes more difficult to spot. It is important to realize that abusers are controlling by nature. If they can control others, they feel powerful and safe from their own inner insecurities.

Spiritual abuse can take a few different paths. One of these is that a spouse uses religious principles, creating strict rules that go above the letter of the law and imposes these on their family. This is a principle that applies to many religious services but is in excess of the typical practice. The difference between fervent above and beyond religious worship and abuse is when the abuser uses their idea of different opinions to control his/her family as well as restrict the family members’ access to ecclesiastical leaders for help and support. In extreme cases, the abuser forms a relationship with leaders and alienates his/her spouse and/or children by claiming that they are confused, lost or crazy.

Sexual abuse in marriage

This topic is difficult for many since there is a level of confusion about where the lines of consent exist in a marriage. Many spouses who have perfectly normal and healthy relationships may have gone along with their spouse’s desire for intimacy even if they weren’t in that some place at that moment.

While the current perception of rape includes dark alleys, strangers, etc., in most cases, victims of rape know their rapist and already have some type of relationship with them.

In the case of marital rape, the lines that can be blurry. A spouse demanding a sexual encounter when their spouse is ill, recovering from childbirth, or simply unwilling to participate in a sexual activity that they are uncomfortable with, is violating the boundary of trust in the relationship and can be considered as abuse.

If you feel as though you or your children are in any type of danger, please seek help. You can reach someone 24/7 at the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233). If you aren’t sure if you are being abused, these trained professionals can help you. (https://www.thehotline.org/)

Please call to schedule your free and no obligation consultation with a top-notch divorce lawyer in Provo.

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