Domestic violence refers to the physical or emotional abuse of one's partner or spouse, whether in a legally recognised marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership. In most cases, people wait until they see injured victims or hear them screaming for help before they report an incidence of domestic violence. However, the emotional or physical abuse may not involve evident injuries or physical contact between the victim and the perpetrator. You may be witnessing domestic violence without even knowing that the victim is being abused. Here are a few acts you may not be aware of that constitute domestic violence:
Inhibiting access to health resources
If the victim is suffering from a disease or medical condition, then they have a right to access drugs and living aids that will enable them to recover from the disease or condition. In such a case, the partner or spouse should be supportive of the ailing person and allow them to access medical help, drugs, or livings aids. If the spouse is withholding access to any medical resources, then it amounts to domestic violence. These facilities include wheelchairs, special food, hygienic assistance, or specific sleeping hours.
Isolation of the victim from other people
Isolating the supposed victim from other people is a deliberate attempt by the perpetrator to stop the victim from meeting and interacting with others. In such a case, the perpetrator can use threats to instil fear and make the victim afraid of meeting other people. On the other hand, the perpetrator can also withhold the friends and family of the victim and use threats or lies to stop them from seeing the victim. Both cases amount to domestic violence
Undermining the victim's sense of worth
In a domestic relationship, spouses must treat each other with respect because they deserve a sense of self-worth. If the perpetrator is undermining their spouse's self-worth, then it amounts to domestic violence. This can be done by manipulating the feelings of the victim to make them feel guilty all the time, making repetitive promises that the perpetrator does not fulfil, or constant criticism of the victim. This can induce feelings of suicide because of the constant emotional distress.
If the perpetrator creates a situation in which the victim is financially dependent, it hinders the victim's ability to access basic facilities and acquire necessities and personal belongings. In addition, forbidding the victim to attend school, withholding information regarding bills they are supposed to pay, and requiring justification and accountability for all the money the victim spends amount to domestic violence.
A lawyer who works in family law will be able to give you more information about what constitutes domestic violence.