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Types of domestic violence

When Maryland couples are in an abusive relationship, they could be experiencing domestic violence at the hands of their partners or spouses. While domestic violence can certainly include physical abuse, there are several other forms that all fit beneath the domestic violence umbrella.

Physical abuse involves any intentional act that could cause injury or physical trauma to another person. While physical abuse does include hitting, slapping, punching and hair pulling, it can also include denying medical care or forcing a person to use drugs or alcohol. Sexual abuse is similar in that it is a physical act. This form of abuse involves forcing sex against one's will, marital rape or treating a person in a sexually demeaning way.

There are also several forms of domestic violence that do not involve bodily harm that can occur in abusive relationships. Emotional abuse, for example, involves using constant criticism, name calling and isolation tactics to undermine an individual's sense of self-worth as a form of control. Economic abuse occurs when a person attempts to make a partner financially dependent. This is often done by controlling a couple's financial resources and withholding access to funds. Finally, psychological abuse occurs when a person uses fear, intimidation or threats of physical harm to a person or a loved one.

Domestic violence can occur in all types of relationships, no matter what a victim's socioeconomic background, race, religion or gender is. Once people find themselves in a dangerous or abusive relationship, it can be difficult to leave especially if they have been threatened with a weapon or worry about the safety of other family members. A family law attorney could assist with helping people trying to leave an abusive relationship seek a restraining order.

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