Emotional abuse doesn’t get the respect or attention it deserves. My clients figure that if they aren’t being touched, it is not abuse. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Emotional abuse can be just as impactful as physical abuse, especially to your kids.
The courts do not place the same automatic emphasis in a divorce on emotional harm as on physical harm, but an experienced advocate you can help make sure you are heard.
Hurt feelings abound in almost any divorce, but emotional abuse has a different tone and tenor. Some signs of emotional abuse are:
- Obsessive monitoring, including spying on e-mails, phones, and your work
- Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family
- Tries to stop you from going to work
- Controls your access to money and how you spend it
- Threatens to harm themselves or the children if you don’t comply with their wishes
- Exercises control over what you wear, eat, your friends, or what you do
These are just some of the signs that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. Any kind of toxic verbal aggression, dominance, or jealous behavior could qualify.
This kind of abuse can escalate quickly into physical abuse, so please keep yourself safe. I happily prepare, file, and litigate protective orders for any client who has suffered abuse at no charge. Don’t hesitate to call.