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What Is Family Violence?

Violence in a family can be a serious concern for spouses, children and others. If you decide to get a divorce to get away from an abusive partner, it’s important to understand what may happen legally.

What kinds of family violence are there?

There are actually four main kinds of family violence, and they aren’t all physically violent in nature. In fact, these four forms include emotional and financial abuse, sexual abuse and physical abuse. Some kinds of violence you may be exposed to include elder abuse, neglect, child abuse or intimate partner violence.

Financial abuse is one type that isn’t often spoken about. Normally, when you think of family violence, you’re likely to consider it physical or emotional. The truth is, financial abuse can be as damaging as any other kind. With financial abuse, one person controls everyone else with money. That person may take your money without asking, limit your ability to pay for your own items, withhold money, force you to sell your things or to alter your will, and so on. Financial abuse typically consists of theft or fraud, two crimes that a person could be charged with in court outside family law.

Intimate partner violence, which is normally referred to when you think about violence in the home, doesn’t actually have to be physically harmful to a person. Instead, it can be a situation of control; one partner could tell the other what to wear, how to spend his or her time or what they can spend money on, limiting them to doing only what they say they are allowed to do.

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