There are a number of ways in which a spouse or partner may be abused by someone they care about, and they all fall under the general heading of domestic violence. This is a problem in Pennsylvania just as much as anywhere else, and partners or spouses who have been subjected to such treatment often wonder whether what they experienced was domestic violence if there was no physical injury involved.
Domestic abuse may be broadly grouped into six types. These forms of abuse share a common theme, which is the need to control a partner. Physical and sexual typically involve attacks and violence, and emotional abuse encompasses name-calling, blaming or shaming behaviors, intense and uncontrolled jealousy, and stalking.
Additionally, financial and technological abuse, where an abuser attempts to control the victim by limiting or monitoring one's interactions with money or social media, are becoming more prevalent among all age groups and genders. Abuse using a victim's immigration status may include refusing to allow the partner to learn English, issuing threats of violence or deportation against the partner or the partner's family, and withholding or destroying the partner's passport or immigration documents. All of these are forms of domestic violence.
An attorney beginning a divorce action where domestic abuse is a factor may start by requesting an order for protection from the court while the other details of the divorce are resolved. This may be temporary or permanent and could influence the court's decisions on child custody and support, visitation and other matters. The attorney may also involve law enforcement to ensure the safety of the client and any children involved if necessary.