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About domestic violence

Domestic violence is a scourge in the state of New Jersey and throughout the U.S. Although it is less common than ever before, the sad truth is that many people must endure the damaging, traumatic effects of domestic violence every day. It is even possible for the desperate nature of the situation to be so well hidden that even close friends and relatives are unaware of it.

There are five major categories of domestic abuse: sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse and economic abuse. It is not uncommon for two or more types of abuse to be mixed. Psychological and emotional abuse are naturally found together in many circumstances, though psychological abuse is considered to be more calculated and complex than the simple hostility and low level of constant negative activity that is often the hallmark of emotional abuse.

Physical abuse and sexual abuse are the two forms of abuse best known to most people, and both can have serious and life-long effects. Any person may be abused inside their home, whether they are a spouse, parent, child or simply a cohabitation. Abuse is a power dynamic, so if one person is capable of exercising unanswered power over another, there will be the potential for abuse.

An attorney may be able to provide a variety of options for removing vulnerable individuals from domestic violence situations and seeking appropriate support and restitution afterward. If there is a need for specialized legal actions such as restraining orders, changes in child custody or orders to provide financial support, then the attorney might be able to help their client draw up any necessary forms.

Source: The United States Department of Justice, "Domestic Violence," Accessed April 8, 2015

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