Every married couple argues. Every married couple can have dramatic fights that elevate to a level neither wanted it to go. But when that anger is especially one-sided, or probes deeper levels of psychological distress, it is considered domestic abuse.
Normal arguing does not leave one spouse frightened of the other, or fearing that he or she may be in danger. It is easy to forget that domestic abuse can be psychological as well as physical. This type of abuse is much more difficult to identify — whether you are the person perpetuating the abuse or on the receiving end.
Many emotional abusers do not intend to do so. It is a behavior than can stem from deeply seated places of emotional insecurity and lack of self-worth. Emotional abuse is characterized by name-calling, yelling, shaming, and blaming. An attempt to control one’s spouse and/or intimidate him or her from seeking other relationships or experiences outside of the marriage is also emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse can be perpetuated by either men or women — in some cases more easily than physical abuse, simply because of standard physical limitations. Any type of marital abuse, however, is statistically more frequently experienced by women, perpetuated by a man. Some research reports that 35 percent of all women who are currently married or have been in a common-law partnership have experienced emotional abuse.
In California, emotional abuse is a domestic violence issue that is punishable by law. According to California state courts, you do not have to physically injure your spouse to be held liable for abuse. If found guilty, a person could face serious fines and possible jail time.
If you suspect that you may be guilty of emotional abuse, the most important step is to contact a legal professional immediately. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Santa Clara County criminal defense attorney today.