Domestic violence happens everyday in the Albany area. Unfortunately, we often do not see the signs that a family member, friend, or neighbor is the victim of domestic violence. Indeed, there are many victims who are not fully conscious of their own abuse. Victims frequently use denial as a coping mechanism–i.e., they try to convince themselves that the abuse is imaginary or somehow their fault.

But domestic violence rarely goes away without intervention. If you are a victim–or know someone who may be a victim–it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. In addition to receiving medical assistance and psychological counseling, an experienced Schenectady County domestic violence lawyer can help you obtain an order of protection against your abuser.

What Are the Signs of Abuse?

It is easy to spot some signs of domestic violence. Maybe you witness someone hitting their spouse (or child) or see physical evidence of an injury on a victim’s hands or face. But not all abuse is physical. Successful abusers are able to manipulate their victims emotionally, without necessarily resorting to physical attacks. This does not, however, make the abuse any less harmful or illegal.

Some of the non-physical signs of domestic violence may include:

  • The abuser insults or puts down the victim in the presence of others;
  • The abuser makes violent threats, particularly after using alcohol or drugs;
  • The abuser forces the victim to engage in sexual acts against his or her will;
  • The abuser resorts to financial manipulation, such as preventing the victim from working outside the home or controlling how they spend money;
  • The abuser acts jealous or possessive of the victim; and
  • The abuser blames his or her behavior on the victim, telling them they “deserve” to be treated a certain way.

It is also important to understand that domestic violence is not exclusive to heterosexual relationships (i.e., a man abusing a woman). Domestic violence is often a weapon in abusive relationships involving same-sex or transgender partners. For example, an abuser may threaten to “out” the victim to their family or employer against their will. Some abusers may even justify physical acts of abuse by alleging “women cannot be violent” or that the victim is “not really” a part of the LGBTQ community.

Need Help Getting Out of an Abusive Domestic Relationship?

Domestic violence is also not just about the abuser and the victim. If there are children in the home, they may also be victims, even if they have simply witnessed other acts of abuse. And the longer the abusive relationship continues, the harder it is to get out. Victims often feel helpless to do anything–and may ultimately believe they are responsible for their situation.

Do not let this happen to you or someone that you know. There is always help available for domestic violence victims in the Albany-Schenectady area. The first step you can take is to schedule a free–and confidential–consultation with one of our experienced Schenectady County domestic violence lawyers. Call The Colwell Law Group, LLC, today at 518-320-7314, to speak with someone right away.