Domestic Violence is a difficult subject to broach. Many people don’t even know what Domestic Violence truly is, so we decided to begin our blog series with defining Domestic Violence.
Domestic Violence is legally defined as, “The pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.” (www.justuce,gov) This abuse can be any physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions that influence another person and includes any behavior that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Domestic Violence affects all genders, nationalities, religions, ages, and relationships. It does not discriminate against heterosexual couples, gay couples, poly couples, open couples, interracial couples, older couples, younger couples, rich couples, poor couples, etc. It is an evil that affects anyone and everyone.
There’s a lot of information there to swallow and fully comprehend. So let’s start easy.
Physical Abuse is any action that physically harms another. This includes hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, and goes so far as to include denying a partner or child medical care. It also includes forcing drugs or alcohol upon your partner or child.
Sexual Abuse is any sexual coercive action. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.
Undermining an individual’s self-worth and self-esteem is abusive. Oftentimes this is called verbal abuse, and includes but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.
This one is a little bit harder to define. Essentially economic abuse is exerting control over your partner or family member by forcing them or attempting to force them to become wholly financially dependent on you. This includes maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.
Psychological Abuse is maintaining control over another using fear based tactics. This could be causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and/or forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.
As stated earlier, Domestic Violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, gender, socioeconomic background, education level, and relationship. Domestic Violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has an enormous effect on family members, friends, co-workers, witnesses, and communities.
Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…
Rakin Hamad is a graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at the…
Julia Martinez, a Florida native, joined Curcio Law as a paralegal in 2013. She began her legal career in 1998 working at a personal injury firm that primarily handled automobile accidents, slip and falls, and products liability cases. Then, in 2008 she expanded her knowledge by working at two other law firms. She obtained her…
As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…
Riann Winget, a native Texan, graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Chi Omega Sorority, and was on the university board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and taught preschool…
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