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4 types of non-physical domestic abuse

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Domestic Violence

Domestic abuse is a major cause of divorce in New Jersey and across the United States. This kind of mistreatment is not limited to the visible physical violence often portrayed in media.

In a family setting, domestic abuse can take on numerous subtle yet damaging forms, including the following.

Digital harassment

This involves the use of technology to intimidate, control or manipulate a partner or family member. It can include constant monitoring of the victim’s online activity, sending threatening or harassing messages via text or social media, spreading rumors or lies about them online or using GPS tracking to monitor their whereabouts without consent. Digital harassment can be particularly insidious because it can occur remotely and surreptitiously, making it difficult for the victim to escape or seek help without fear of further repercussions.

Psychological intimidation

In psychological intimidation, the abuser employs tactics aimed at instilling fear, shame or self-doubt in the victim. This can include constant criticism, belittling or mocking of the victim’s thoughts, feelings or abilities. The abuser may use threats of harm to themselves, the victim or loved ones to exert control and manipulate the victim’s behavior. Gaslighting, a form of psychological manipulation where the abuser denies or distorts reality to make the victim question their own sanity, is also commonly employed.

Financial control

Another subtle form of domestic abuse is financial control, where the abuser seeks to maintain power and control over the victim by manipulating their financial resources. This can involve withholding money or access to financial accounts, preventing the victim from working or attending school or coercing them into signing over assets or property. The abuser may also sabotage the victim’s efforts to become financially independent, such as by sabotaging job opportunities or accruing debt in the victim’s name without their consent.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse in whatever form, consider seeking legal guidance to better understand your options for protection.


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