Every marriage has conflicts and most couples don’t run to an Orange County divorce attorney just because they disagree about the proper way to squeeze toothpaste out of the tube — of course, conflict can progress into something more serious.

Sadly, uncountable numbers of spouses end up in an abusive or violent relationship, even if they don’t fully recognize it. It’s in these situations that working with an Orange County domestic violence lawyer is critical.

Even if you’re not considering an actual divorce, it’s crucial to meet with a legal professional that can help you understand your rights and options to remain safe.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to identifying the potential for violence in a marriage. If you find yourself in an unsafe situation, call the police right away. It’s also worth consulting with an Orange County divorce attorney to help plan your next steps.

Domestic Violence is on the Rise

Studies show that there is an increase in domestic violence around the world. Some people blame the current unrest around the globe, while others think the number of cases is going up because more people are coming forward with their stories.

It’s a common misconception that domestic violence must be physical in nature. Believing this false definition leads to a number of people to be in a violent situation without even realizing it.

California recognizes domestic violence as abuse or threats of harm between people in an intimate relationship. These relationships include married couples, dating partners, and people who have a child together.

Domestic violence can happen even if those involved don’t live together. Abuse can take many forms. While physical abuse is often the easiest to identify, it’s not the only kind. It can be verbal, emotional, or even psychological.

There are several forms of abuse and some of these are:

  • Physically hurting or even attempting to hurt someone, whether it’s done intentionally or through reckless behavior
  • Dangerous behaviors like harassing, stalking, threatening, hitting, and destroying property
  • Cause another person to be reasonably afraid that they are going to be seriously hurt, and
  • Sexual assault

If you believe that your partner is abusive towards you, do not hesitate to contact an Orange County divorce mediation attorney right away. These professionals can offer advice on how to ensure you remain safe and know all of your options.

What Does Domestic Violence Look Like?

Realizing that you’re in an abusive relationship or that there is potential for violence is no easy task. People who are directly involved in the situation can easily miss some of the key giveaways that they are in danger.

Abusive relationships always involve some kind of imbalance of power and control. The abuser uses different acts of intimidation to control their partner. It typically starts small and builds over time.

In many cases, it builds in a way that the abused person doesn’t realize just how bad it has become.

Here are some of the signs you can look for to identify the potential or reality of domestic violence in your relationship:

  • Your abuser calls you names, insults you, or puts you down
  • You are discouraged or prevented from having control over if you can work, go to school, or visit with family and friends
  • There are attempts to control how you spend money, where you go, how you dress, and so on
  • Your partner is overly jealous of makes constant accusations of infidelity
  • The abuser gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • There are attempts to control whether you can go to the doctor, therapist, or other professional
  • There are threats of violence or they hurt you, your children, or your pets
  • You are forced to have sex or engage in sexual acts against your will
  • Threatens to spread rumors or reveal secrets to your family, friends, colleagues, etc
  • You get blamed for their violent behavior, or you’re told that you deserve it, or
  • They attack your sexuality

If you’re not sure if actions in your relationship fall under the definition of abuse, you can schedule a consultation with an Orange County domestic violence attorney. These lawyers will help you understand the extent of your situation.

The Blame Game

Many victims of abuse end up believing that they are to blame for what’s happening.

This is often due to the psychological element of abuse. Instead of seeking help, the victim focuses inward, believing they deserve the violence.

Instead of getting caught in a head game, here are some signs you can look for that you’re involved in psychological warfare:

  • Your partner seldom or never takes responsibility for their actions. Instead, they blame you for everything that happens in the relationship.
  • Your partner is only abusive when no one else is around. Abuses tend to be overly concerned with their outward appearance. They go out of their way to appear charming, stable, and calm. They may even talk to others as if your relationship is perfect and because no one else can see the abuse, it’s easy for you to accept the blame.
  • You’ve acted out. When a person is being abused, it’s common for them to fight back during a conflict. This could involve yelling, pushing, hitting, and so on. The abuser uses these instances to further convince you that you are the problem even though you were acting in self-defense out of intense emotional distress.

Don’t get caught playing the blame game with an abusive partner. Schedule a meeting with an Orange County divorce mediation attorney right away.

What About the Children?

Domestic violence can often begin or intensify when children are involved. If the abused is pregnant, the violence or stress involved can impact the mother or unborn baby.

Even if the children aren’t abused, giving witness to domestic violence can play a negative role in how they grow up.

Many partners worry that coming forward will risk their relationship with the children. Protecting yourself and your family is the most essential step. Contact an Orange County divorce attorney to learn about all of the possible outcomes of your situation.

Break the Cycle Before it’s too Late

An abusive relationship often follows a cycle. For example, it might start with a threat of violence, followed by an actual act of abuse. The abuser apologizes and promises to change. They may offer gifts or be extra nice for a while. Then the cycle repeats.

Identifying an abusive relationship is the primary step in breaking the cycle. The most practical thing you can do is contact an Orange County divorce attorney to learn your options.

The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the more significant toll it will take your life. It can even result in extreme acts of violence that can result in disability or even death.

No one deserves to be abused — take the step and contact us at Lemkin Law and meet with our Orange County domestic violence attorney today.