Just because your partner or spouse is not hitting you does not mean that you are not the victim of an extremely harmful and damaging kind of domestic abuse. However, many men and women in Washington State do not realize that just because there is a lack of physical violence does not mean they are not in an abusive and dangerous relationship.

What Can Emotional Abuse Look Like?

•    Your partner rigidly controls your money or monitors your spending.
•    Your partner obsessively calls to check on you when you are away from the house.
•    Your partner prevents you from working in a chosen field.
•    Your partner manipulates you with gifts.
•    Your partner verbally abuses you.
•    You are often surprised at your partner’s sudden outbursts of anger.
•    Your partner prevents you from seeing friends and family.
•    Your partner criticizes and belittles your friends and family.
•    Your partner limits your social interactions or prevents you from joining groups or participating in a hobby.
•    Your partner abuses drugs or alcohol.
•    Your partner often points out your flaws or mentions issues he or she knows are sensitive to you.
•    Your partner often ignores you or leaves the room when you try to speak to him about important issues.
•    Your partner withholds basic needs such as food, shelter, or money.
•    Your partner ridicules your actions, body, or decisions.
•    Your partner embarrasses you in front of others.
•    Your partner accuses you of cheating, stealing, or going against him.
•    Your partner does not include you in family decisions and is often secretive or impulsive.
•    You give in to your partner’s sexual demands in order to prevent an outburst.
•    Your partner often blames you for things that are out of your control.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington