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Know the early signs of domestic violence and abuse

No one enters into a relationship expecting to be mistreated in any way. On the contrary, many abusive relationships seem to begin as fairy tales with both partners appearing happy, healthy and contented. Abuse can be so sly and so insidious that victims often have no understanding of how it all began.

As family law attorneys, we experience somewhat mixed feelings about domestic violence and abuse. On the one hand, we dread having to hear about these cases and we hate seeing how they affect families. On the other hand, we are eager to help victims of abuse and violence find protection. We believe that each time a family reaches out for help, at least one person is saved from potential physical and emotional harm.

We know that is it sometimes difficult for a person in love to know when domestic violence or abuse is creeping up on a relationship. While there are certainly early warning signs, many people do not know what they are. As part of our Florida family law services, we want to tell you about just a few early signs that indicate your partner may be prone to abusive behaviors. Bear in mind that these behaviors often start slowly and then ramp up over time.

  • Isolation: Abusers typically separate their victims from friends and family members to lessen the influence of these "outsiders."
  • Control: Eventually, an abuser may gain control of every aspect of his or her victim's life.
  • Jealousy: Some jealousy exists in many relationships, but when it is severe and begins to affect one or both partner's behaviors, it may indicate a deeper problem.
  • Intimidation: The ultimate goal of emotionally abusive behaviors like intimidation is to destroy the victim's self-esteem. This increases the victim's dependence on the abuser.

If you spot any of these warning signs in your relationship, please reach out for help right away. An attorney can put you in touch with resources for immediate assistance and can also help you put a protective order in place. Learn more about family law issues on our legal website.

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