What is domestic violence?

Tracey - posted on 02/06/2011 ( 40 moms have responded )

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A judge in UK is considering a claim of domestic violence by a wife against her husband because he shouted at her. He never hit or harmed her.
What actions count as domestic violence?
Thoughts?

Shout at your spouse and risk losing your home: It's just the same as domestic violence, warns woman judge

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

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Krista - posted on 02/06/2011

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If one spouse's actions are deliberately meant to control, intimidate and terrorize the other spouse, then that relationship is abusive, REGARDLESS of what those actions are.

JuLeah - posted on 02/06/2011

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Domestic violence is about power and control. Many on the receiveing end of DV don't ever get hit, or are hit just once. If a raised hand will bring a person in line, why expend the energy to actually hit her/him.
So shouting in and of itself, no. But, shame, blame, insults, dirty names ... "I'm gonna call the psych ward and have you committed" "I'm gonna tell the judge you are insane and you will never see the kids again. You know how much money my family has, you have no chance in court.
I know women that were never hit, ever, but their car keys, shoes, extra clothes were under lock and key. He controled every dime. The miliage on the car was checked when she went to the store and checked again when she returned. It was five miles to the store and back and only five miles ought to show on the car or .... she sleeps outside, her puppy doesn't eat for three days ... she is not allowed to call her mother this week (monitered conversation of course) ... or she is not allowed to take a bath for a week, or she won't get to eat .... the list goes on. You don't have to hit a person to make them fall in line.
DV Perps are amazing at blaming others and making it 'your fault' - setting you up and knocking you down. DV happens within all cultures, across all SES (doesn't matter how rish or how poor you are) it happend with folks that have an advanced college education and with folks that dropped out of high school - with the very smart and with the not so smart .... becuase it is not about that (smarts or money) it is about power, control, and the need we all have to be loved.
You have all heard stories of kidnapped victs who end u bonding with their abductor, right? What do they call that, Stockholem Syndrom ... it is kind of like that.
Some don't leave for these reasons, some for practical reasons ... how will I feed my kids, who will believe me, if I leave he will kill me ....
So, shouting, just shouting, no .... but the judge might have seen more

Stifler's - posted on 02/07/2011

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So if he's yelling at you that you're a worthless piece of shit and he's going to kill you and other such things it's not verbally violent? As long as he doesn't follow through? It's intimidation and degradation. You and your husband might not say those things but I guarantee you there are people out there who do say that to their partner and I think they are still being abused.

Petra - posted on 02/06/2011

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The article is a little light on detail, but I don't think it's that far-fetched. Definitions of domestic violence in Canada encompass verbal and emotional/psychological abuse and I think it's a good thing. You don't have to yell at or strike your partner in order to abuse them - systemic control can be accomplished by limiting money, freedom and belittling/degrading your spouse as well. This sounds like the case in the example provided, but the publication seems more focussed on the fact that the husband did not "hit" his wife. A lack of bruising does not mean she was not abused.

Tara - posted on 02/06/2011

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Just as with children, emotional and mental abuse of one spouse by the other, regardless of gender is still abuse.
Abuse is about power and control. Using your voice or your body language to intimidate another person is wrong.
It should be dealt with on a case by case basis.
For instance:
Man comes home from work to find his wife in bed with his brother. He yells "You Fucking SLUT WHORE BAG Get your shit out of my house right the fuck now." he has never treated his wife that way prior to that day.... should be let go, never charged in the first place...
Women yells at her husband every day, calls him a "Pussy, Cunt, Wimp, Good For Nothing Moron, tells him he is useless, horrible and stupid. She swears at him every day, takes his car keys and leaves him with no vehicle or money during the day. She never lays a hand on him, not so much as a shove... but he lives in fear of her every day.
She should be charged with assault and emotional and mental abuse. He should get out and get some counselling.

All in all, case by case.
My ex was a fucktard who used his body language and his voice to shut me up and shut me down. He could get within an inch of my face and scream at me as loud as he could... he didn't think it was abusive... until the police arrested him and charged him.

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Mother - posted on 03/08/2012

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I don't think yelling should be considered domestic violence either. Can you imagine the can of worms that would open if they considered it violence??

Joy - posted on 03/05/2012

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I read through all the replies and I do believe that yelling can become abusive. If a spouse is constantly berating his significant other. I've worked in Community Counselling services for 20+ years and have seen all kinds of domestic violence. I don't believe this incident falls in the realm of domestic violence.



It concerns me that they are trying to make yelling a form of domestic violence. Domestic violence is still a real problem in our world. Bigger then I think people realize. To compare yelling to violence doesn't seem right to me. Someone brought up that verbal abuse can turn to violence. Yes, this is true, it can turn to violence but it isn't violence on its own. Nor is it verbal abuse on its own.

[deleted account]

Krista said: "I'm just thinking: what if you lived with someone who was always yelling, always angry, always stomping around, but never laid a hand on you? Many women would feel rather terrorized, always walking on eggshells, always bending over backwards to try to make him happy. In a way, isn't that an abusive relationship, due to the man basically controlling the woman through his anger?"



You are exactly right, Krista. The whole point of domestic violence is not hitting or punching but power and control over another person. Not all victims of dv experience being beat to a pulp. Many suffer through never-ending abuse in a variety of forms, all leaving lasting marks.



Leaving an abusive environment is not as easy as Mother Bacher makes it sound: "There is nothing keeping you there. REAL, domestic violence the people stay out of fear. Because the bastards beat them when they try to leave." It is much more complicated than that. Many victims stay and/or return to an abuser for lots of reasons. Here's an excellent article on that very issue: http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/longterm.shtm...



Domestic violence is so wide-spread and yet so complex. It really can't be fully understood without experiencing it.



Good discussion. :O)

Jodi - posted on 03/04/2012

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Depends, was he yelling demeaning phrases at her? Was he yelling aweful names at her? Was he mentally, verbally or emotionally abusing her with a raised voice? Then yes, I would consider it Domestic violence...or abuse...whichever. On the other hand, was it just a heated argument in which voices got raised? Then no, it's not domestic violence.

**Jackie** - posted on 03/04/2012

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BY definition, I don't think that shouting at someone is domestic violence BUT I think it is the gateway to some serious actions. My husband and I yell at each other sometimes...well I like to call it "whisper yell" because we don't want to wake the baby lol.



Anyway, back to what I was saying...I think that in an unstable or rocky relationship...yelling can lead to threats, threats can lead to counter attacks, and then those heated emotions can possibly go to the next level and become physical. Thus resulting in domestic violence.



So is yelling at each other domestic violence? I don't believe so but it can absolutely become DV within seconds.



This is just my opinion.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/04/2012

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I will agree with that much, of what you just said. No, having a shout out here and there is not domestic violence. I have been involved in a few in my lifetime. It is called venting. No, from what the article has for information it would not be domestic violence. IMO.



Wow - we actually agree on something! LOL

Mother - posted on 03/04/2012

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Simply having a shout out with you spouse is NOT domestic violence. I think putting them on the same level is insulting to those who do live with domestic violence.



The article is pretty vague with details so it is hard to judge.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/04/2012

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I was defending those that are not necessarily beaten like YOU think it must be in order for it to be domestic abuse.



Then let him see your tail lights. There is nothing keeping you there. REAL, domestic violence the people stay out of fear. Because the bastards beat them when they try to leave.



I am saying that is BS. You do NOT need to be beaten to be in a domesticly abusive relationship.

Mother - posted on 03/04/2012

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Well, if we go by the article, which I was, there really isn't a lot of details. Yes, there is verbal abuse but just yelling at someone does not equate domestic violence. We've all yelled at someone in our life....imagine if a charge of violent behaviour came with that?!?! That is asinine.



ETA:: and nowhere does it say he was threatening her....just that he raised his voice.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/04/2012

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Verbal abuse can quickly turn into emotional abuse:



As of 1996,[4] there were "no consensus views about the definition of emotional abuse”. As such, clinicians and researchers have offered sometimes divergent definitions of emotional abuse. However, the widely used Conflict Tactics Scale measures roughly twenty distinct acts of "psychological aggression" in three different categories:

1.Verbal aggression (e.g., "Your partner has said something to upset/annoy you");

2.Dominant behaviours (e.g., "Your partner has tried to prevent you from seeing/speaking to your family");

3.Jealous behaviors (e.g., "Your partner has accused you of maintaining other parallel relations").



The U.S. Department of Justice defines emotionally abusive traits as including causing fear by intimidation, threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends, destruction of pets and property, forcing isolation from family, friends, or school or work.[5]



In 1996, Health Canada argued that emotional abuse is motivated by urges for "power and discontrol",[3] and defines emotional abuse as including rejecting, degrading, terrorizing, isolating, corrupting/exploiting and "denying emotional responsiveness" as characteristic of emotional abuse.



Several studies have argued that, unlike physical and sexual maltreatment, an isolated incident does not constitute emotional abuse. Tomison and Tucci write, "emotional abuse is characterised by a climate or pattern of behaviour(s) occurring over time [...] Thus, 'sustained' and 'repetitive' are the crucial components of any definition of emotional abuse."[6] Andrew Vachss, an author, attorney and former sex crimes investigator, defines emotional abuse as "the systematic diminishment of another. It may be intentional or subconscious (or both), but it is always a course of conduct, not a single event."[7]



Subtler emotionally abusive tactics include insults, putdowns, arbitrary and unpredictable inconsistency, and gaslighting (the denial that previous abusive incidents occurred). Modern technology has led to new forms of abuse, by text messaging and online cyber-bullying.




Verbal abuse or verbal attacks



Verbal abuse is a form of abusive behavior involving the use of language. It is a form of profanity that can occur with or without the use of expletives. Whilst oral communication is the most common form of verbal abuse, it includes abusive words in written form.



Verbal abuse is a pattern of behavior that can seriously interfere with one's positive emotional development and can lead to significant detriment to one's self-esteem, emotional well-being, and physical state. It has been further described as an ongoing emotional environment organized by the abuser for the purposes of control.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/04/2012

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I agree with Krista. Constant anger in a home is abuse. How do you know what keeps them there? It could be that they have no where else to go.



My step-mother is the perfect example. My father is a recovered alcoholic but he wasn't always recovered. He was extremly verbally abusive. He was always angry. She was called every name in the book and had to walk on egg shells. She could not "just" leave. She had two kids she was raising. She did NOT have a job and she would not have been able to support her children without going on assistance. She was stuck. She was NOT as strong as some people. She was scared. She was scared of what would happen to her and her children's life if she left. My father threatened her and munipulated her. He told her she would never be anything but his wife and the mother of her children. If she left he would take off and she wouldn't get a dime from him. So, Mother B. Tell me how she felt and how she should have turned around and left everything she had to enter an unknown world of poverty with two young children. She did not grow up in poverty. That crap scares alot of people.



Absolutely verbal abuse is abuse. Otherwise it would not be called verbal ABUSE. We would not clasify an angry mother/father that always yelled at their children as detrimental to their growth, if it wasn't abuse.



ETA: Verbal abuse is a large factor in emotional abuse. How is that not terrorizing someone?

Mother - posted on 03/04/2012

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Then let him see your tail lights. There is nothing keeping you there. REAL, domestic violence the people stay out of fear. Because the bastards beat them when they try to leave. Can you imagine what would happen to the world if raising your voice because you're mad WAS considered violence?? OMG....what a can of worms that would open. As if our jails aren't crowded enough. I'm glad the woman was turned down when they heard he never touched her.



Seriously.....let's think about this. What about freedom of expression?? So some idiot T bones you and you jump outta your car cussing and yelling, you're charged with violence?? BAH....

Krista - posted on 03/04/2012

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Not necessarily, Ma Bacher.



I'm just thinking: what if you lived with someone who was always yelling, always angry, always stomping around, but never laid a hand on you? Many women would feel rather terrorized, always walking on eggshells, always bending over backwards to try to make him happy. In a way, isn't that an abusive relationship, due to the man basically controlling the woman through his anger?

Mother - posted on 03/04/2012

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I think anyone who considers yelling, domestic violence, is insulting the people who truly ARE living with domestic violence.

[deleted account]

Domestic violence is a pattern of violent and coercive behavior used by one person with the intent to control or manipulate another person. The key word here is pattern. An abuser has certain characteristics and abusive patterns that repeat themselves within a relationship. Not only do these patterns repeat themselves but they also perpetuate themselves (get worse over time) and take on the role of manipulator and controller.



I don't personally know the UK laws but it could be that verbal abuse is considered illegal in the UK. In the States, it is not. (Though that does not make it any less wrong.)



See link below for more information about the different kinds of abuse and examples of each.



=====

I'm a mom, domestic violence survivor, ordained minister and ministry founder. My ministry is called Signal On Ministries and we function to encourage/resource victims/survivors of domestic violence & their children as well as educate/train religious/secular communities on how to recognize/respond to situations of dv. Would love to be of service however possible. www.signalonministries.org

Bonnie - posted on 02/07/2011

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I think domestic violence is mostly physical, like throwing the person to the ground, trying to choke them, punching them, kicking them. But, I also feel that if the person is telling their significant other they are worthless, fat, ugly, stupid, can't do anything right type of thing, that hits emotionally and is also considered violent to me.

Amanda - posted on 02/07/2011

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The article says he never threatened her, just yelled at her (wonder how many times she yelled back), but it did say he didnt give her money, which can be considered abuse esp if shes unable to work, or he wont allow her to work. Now if hes with holding money so she will get a job that is NOT abuse. There is way to much left out of this article to actually make a judgement on, but I can say that I know many men screwed by the court systems, because an ex has LIED about abuse. So Im on the fence when a new law comes out that makes it EVEN easier for a jilted ex to make false claims.

Sara - posted on 02/07/2011

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And let's not forget that there's financial abuse too. Controlling your money, limiting your resources...that's all abusive behavior too.

Jenn - posted on 02/07/2011

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I don't see how "I put him down more then I'm nice to him" = secure relationship. :/ Anywho - I agree that words can most certainly be abuse. My ex used to threaten me with various things and told me that I was crazy, and that my whole family thought I was crazy. The sad thing is, I started to believe it. :(

Melissa - posted on 02/07/2011

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I guess I can see your point about threatening like saying your going to kill them or whatever. I wouldnt go that far. But we joke around alot too. And half the time people think we're for real. My relationship is secure we both have those same values at least that relationships are forever and we finally tie the knot next month but I suppose I can see that for some people that doesnt work and they cant handle a relationship like that. I dont think I could handle a relationship where I was emotionally abused or put down which is why i do sometimes feel guilty that I do it to him. But anyways I just dont think t should be considered domestic abuse unless it really is but I can see that threatening should be taken seriously as well

Krista - posted on 02/07/2011

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Exactly. There are some couples who do shout and holler at each other when they fight.

But there's a difference between a loud scrap and abuse. With abuse, one partner is deliberately setting out to make the other partner AFRAID and is trying to control that person and bend their will.

With a loud scrap, both parties have equal standing.
With verbal/emotional abuse, one partner clearly has power over the other, and is using that power to terrorize and intimidate.

User - posted on 02/07/2011

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Mandy, that's ok if you can give as good as you get, as far as shouting at each other goes. What about if one person felt intimidated/threatened by constant name calling and put-downs? Not all relationships are as emotionally secure as yours seems to be.

Sal - posted on 02/07/2011

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my hubby (he;s a cop) said that here shouting would start as a domestic related incident, and depending what was said and how often it happens it could lead to charges in a domestic voilence matter as it can be verbal abuse and intimination.

Melissa - posted on 02/07/2011

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stupid. I fight with my fiance all the time. We're completely differnet people different values different beliefes different upbringings and completely opposite ways of raising kids, we sure getnasty but its just us and I think its laughable that this could be considered domestic violence. God I think we've called each oither every name in the book and I put him down more then Im nice to him. Some people just need to realise this is the way some people are doesnt mean they dot love each other and wont be there when it counts and be together thru thick and thin.

Only physical violence counts. Hitting someone pushing them around.

Danielle - posted on 02/06/2011

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I agree with case by case basis. I'll tell you right now, when my husband and I fight..we throw down. Now don't get me wrong I don't mean physical but shouting and name calling ect. It hardly ever happens but when it does it's one to remember. What I'm saying is if my husband calls me a bitch cuz I called him and asshole then it's not abuse (in my case). I believe if you're gonna dish it you better be ready to take it. If you're gonna bow up like a man you better be ready to take it like a man. It's never came to blows between us b/c we both think it's wrong but if our kids are not here then you better believe the neighbors are gonna hear us lol. We do not fight in front of our children. We may argue but never any name calling. We both agree that we want our kids to respect their partner and that starts with what you see your parents do.

Janessa - posted on 02/06/2011

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Interetsing article anyways why I am piss in the fact that people get mad when a men does any domestic violence. But when a women does the samething no one says anything that is so wrong. Since I have a son I am teaching him if a women or partner does any domestic violence do not put up with it. Like if a women hates my son I want him to hit her back. I feel that a women gets away with to much domestic violence those women should pay the price same as a men would.

Krista - posted on 02/06/2011

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Deanna, you might want to add "without that person's consent" to both of those things. After all, some people, under some circumstances rather like having someone else's body part put onto them in a harmful way, or being spoken to in a degrading manner... ; )

[deleted account]

2 things count as domestic violence.
1. if you put any body part onto another or have it done to you in a harmful way.
2. if you speak in a degrading manner intentionally or unintentionally talk down to someone on a regular basis or have it done to you.

IMO

Marylea - posted on 02/06/2011

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I would say this article was written by someone who thinks this ruling was a joke based on the phrasing they used. That being said its very vage and lacking detail. We don't know what types of things he shouted or how often. I think verbal abuse should domestic violence and that this was probably serious for a judge to take the woman's side.

Marylea

Becky - posted on 02/06/2011

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I think it's about the intent and a pattern. Everyone -or almost everyone -gets angry and raises their voice or says something unkind once in a while. I don't consider that to be abuse. But when it's a pattern and it's done with the intent to hurt, control and intimidate, then it is abuse.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/06/2011

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I sort of think this depends on the content of the yelling. If a couple is arguing back and forth about something than that is probably not domestic violence. If one of them is just screaming insults out like crazy and using vocalizations to scare and control...well that would be.

Veronica - posted on 02/06/2011

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Oh boy - this has to be a case by case basis. My husband and I shout at each other, and have called each other names before -- but its not because of control or abuse - its about petty little things that we laugh about later. But i know very well what the abusive side of it is - as my dad was controlling, and emotionally, verbally, and mentally absusive with my mom.
Anyhow, like I said, case by case basis.

Stifler's - posted on 02/06/2011

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I think shouting derogatory remarks or threats at each other is just as much domestic violence as physically abusing each other.

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