You may recognize that you are in a difficult relationship in New Jersey, but you may not see yourself as the victim of domestic abuse. This is because abuse does not always take the form of physical violence that causes observable injury. Any behavior that someone else uses to gain control over you through manipulation or fear constitutes abuse. The most insidious forms of domestic violence are often those that leave no outer mark or scar upon the body. They can be psychological, emotional or financial in nature.
According to FindLaw, significant and persistent behavior intended to cause fear or intimidation is psychological abuse. The abuser may make threats of physical violence against you, with or without following through. Other forms that psychological abuse can take include forbidding or preventing you from leaving the house or not allowing you to talk to other people without permission from the abuser.
Emotional abuse is similar to psychological abuse except that instead of threatening you to invoke fear, the abuser constantly criticizes, insults or humiliates you in order to destroy your sense of self-worth.
In a case of financial abuse, you do not have any access to household funds and need to rely on the abuser for money, even for basic necessities. An abuser may also prevent you from earning your own money by not allowing you to work outside the home or sabotaging your attempts to get a job.
People in abusive relationships sometimes try to convince themselves that the situation will improve with time. In reality, the opposite is more often true, and abusive behavior tends to escalate, sometimes to the level of physical violence. If you recognize yourself as a victim of abuse, physical or otherwise, help is available.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.