Alaskans should know that any type of domestic abuse is not an acceptable feature of a healthy, functional relationship. The scars that it leaves can be physical as well as emotional, and it can cross generations to impact children who witness it. However, not all domestic abuse is the same. Here is a brief survey of the various forms that domestic violence takes.
Understanding domestic abuse
Psychologists generally break domestic violence down into seven distinct categories. These include the following:
• Emotional manipulation: This involves the targeted use of language or other tactics to induce negative emotions such as shame or guilt in the other partner.
• Sexual abuse: This can include activities such as unwanted touching and refusing to practice safe sex in addition to forcible rape.
• Control: This involves setting dictatorial guidelines for what the other partner is allowed to do, such as relationships they can maintain, places they can visit, times they are allowed to be out of the home, etc. Control is often a precursor to more overt forms of abuse.
• Verbal abuse: Verbal abuse includes any words intended to humiliate, demean, frighten or conjure other negative emotions in the victim. It can be delivered with or without yelling and is independent of tone.
• Financial abuse: In healthy relationships, financial decisions, especially important ones, are made together. Financial abuse is characterized by the exercise of control over the finances without input from the other partner.
• Parental alienation: Often occurring in the context of divorce or a breakup, parental alienation occurs when one parent pits the child against the other through a variety of means, including brainwashing.
• Physical violence: This is the form that most people associate with the term “domestic violence” in their minds, which involves physical contact such as hitting, choking, slapping, etc.
Domestic violence is a serious charge
Alaskans who find themselves facing domestic violence charges should be aware of the potentially serious legal consequences, which can include large fines and jail time. If you’ve dealt with domestic violence or been charged with domestic violence, knowing your rights under Alaska law is vital to protecting your interests.