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Not all domestic abuse is physical, other forms exist

Domestic violence is a criminal act. There is no room for this type of atrocious behavior in a marriage. If your spouse is abusive toward you, there are things you can do that might help you to get out of the situation.

You need to understand that domestic abuse isn't all physical. Other types of domestic abuse can occur. You might suffer from economic abuse if your spouse tightly controls the finances and tries to make even life's essentials hard for you to obtain. Sexual abuse is also possible. Emotional abuse and psychological abuse might also occur. In all of these cases, your spouse is using his or her chosen methods to try to control you beyond what would occur in a normal marriage.

You do have the option of contacting law enforcement officers to make a report about the domestic violence. This might lead to your spouse being arrested if there are signs that the abuse occurred. While your spouse is in jail, you would be able to take steps to ensure your freedom when he or she is released.

One way that you can protect yourself is to seek out a restraining order. This will give you the legal grounds to demand that your now-ex stays away from you. The order will give him or her a specific distance to stay from you. If the order is violated, he or she will go to jail.

You might also decide that you are going to file for divorce from the abuser. This is something that you need to plan carefully. For example, you need to think about whether you will seek alimony or not and how you plan to handle child custody matters.

Source: Department of Justice, "Domestic Violence," accessed May 26, 2017

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