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Spousal Abuse


Irvine Domestic Violence Attorney – (888) 392-1941

The thought of domestic violence against a spouse will usually conjure images of physical violence but this is not the only form of spousal abuse. If you have been abused by your spouse in any way, you need to seek legal help as soon as possible. If you are in immediate physical danger, you should also contact the authorities. Never do anything that compromises your health.

When you have the opportunity to safely do so, contact Gill Law Group, PC and our family law attorneys in Irvine. We can discuss legal options that can remove you from an abusive marriage, which might include divorce or legal separation reinforced by orders of protection.

Different Forms of Spousal Abuse

No form of spousal abuse is acceptable and all are particularly damaging to a person’s wellbeing. In order to create a legal case or petition for protection that is effective, it is important to understand the different types of spousal abuse and which ones have afflicted you.

Spousal abuse can take the form of:

  • Physical: Violence, shows of force, and intimidation are all components of physical spousal abuse. As the form of abuse that imposes the most immediate danger, police intervention is often necessary to bring it temporarily to an end.
  • Emotional: Some abuses spouses will not use actions but words and behaviors to harm the mind and emotions of their spouse. Abuse can come in the form of undue criticism, throwing tantrums, attacking their religious beliefs, using displacement, attempting to entrap them in the marriage, and more.
  • Sexual: Spousal abuse of a sexual nature can be as overt as marital rape or as subtle as persistent sexual harassment in the home and while out in public. All instances are attempts at bringing harm to the victim’s self-esteem.
  • Stalking: Many stalkers are not complete strangers but actually close family members, such as spouses. In addition to physical stalking, cyberstalking to commit spousal abuse has increased as technology advances, and may include tracking phone calls or instant messages.
  • Economic: It is not unusual for one spouse to make significantly more money than the other. Economic spousal abuse occurs when the spouse who controls the finances of the family withholds funds or financial support from the other to cause them harm, exploit their emotions, or otherwise gain a perceived advantage.

Recognizing Spousal Abuse

Sometimes spousal abuse is not easily recognizable because the abuser has taken steps to hide the abuse behind or within acceptable behaviors. In some cases, the abuse is so consistent that the abused spouse has been led to believe that it is normal and innocuous. Before spousal abuse can be stopped and addressed, it needs to be recognized.

Some subtle signs that you might be a victim of spousal abuse include:

  • You feel afraid around them in most situations.
  • Your spouse does not seem proud of you after you accomplish something noteworthy.
  • You need to be careful of what you say around your spouse or they might react harshly.
  • Your spouse has a bad temper or falls into depression the moment you become upset.
  • You are more often verbally insulted than praised by your spouse.
  • Your spouse does not commit to any of your important plans, such as picking you up from work.

When in Doubt, Seek Help

Your health and wellbeing should be your number one priority. If you believe or know you are being abused by your spouse, you deserve to be protected by the law. You may need to be careful when seeking assistance, though, as an abusive spouse can become more aggressive if he or she learns you are seeking help. Once again, do not do anything that puts yourself into harm’s way.

After you are safe and sound, Gill Law Group, PC and our Irvine domestic violence attorneys can help protect you through filing legal actions, such as an order for protection petition. You can contact us online or call (888) 392-1941 to request a complimentary initial consultation.