Emotional abuse and divorce

When someone is the victim of physical abuse in Florida, there are easy-to-identify signs, such as bruises or broken bones. However, emotional abuse is harder to identify, both by the victim and by others, which can make it difficult to prove in cases of divorce. Knowing the signs to look for, and working with an expert in the area, can help.

According to PsychCentral, emotional or psychological abuse happens when the abuser tries to control or manipulate the other partner which, in turn, leads to low self-esteem, a feeling of hopelessness and self-blaming. One type of abuse is gaslighting, and this occurs when the abuser provides inaccurate information in order to confuse the victim. Other signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Criticism and put-downs
  • Sarcasm or mean jokes towards victim
  • Using money, sex or affection to control
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Needing to know where victim is at all times
  • Ignoring and refusing to communicate

The abuse often starts out subtly or under the guise of romance, so it can be hard to identify, and, over time, the victim wears down. For those who realize they are in an emotionally abuse relationship, divorce is most often the only solution.

According to domesticshelters.org, experts encourage a victim of psychological abuse to speak with a therapist who understands emotional abuse. His or her testimony may help the victim's case in court. It may help if the victim to takes notes, downloads incriminating texts and records phone conversations with the abuser. It is also a good idea to only state the facts, as you cannot prove emotions in court.

 

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Beverly L . Brennan A PARTNER AT MCLAUGHLIN & STERN, LLP - NAPLES, FLORIDA ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

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