Your partner called the police on you and accused you of domestic violence. Not once have you ever put your hands on your significant other, so where did the accusations come from?
REACH explains several types of non-physical domestic violence. A person need not use her or his hands to make another feel abused.
Using words and actions to degrade a partner’s mental health and wellbeing is mental abuse. This type of non-physical violence may make a person question her or his perception of reality, known as “gaslighting.” With this type of abuse, victims may become overly dependent on the abuser and mistrust his or her sanity.
With verbal and emotional abuse, a person uses words to wound a partner. For example, a person may call their significant other degrading names. Victims of verbal and emotional abuse may feel no one would believe them if they shared their experience. Compared to physical wounds, emotional damage often takes longer to heal.
Financial abusers refuse to let a partner access a bank account, or the abuser may maintain complete control of the household budget. Victims may not have the ability to open a credit card or bank account, get a job or make their own money. Without access to financial resources, a person may feel she or he cannot leave the relationship. Even if the individual wants to open a credit card account, having poor credit could make that difficult.
You may not realize the effect your words and actions have on your relationship and your partner. By understanding how non-physical domestic violence works, you may better build your legal case.