You Can’t Always See Bruises - Domestic Abuse

People often wonder how they come to find themselves in an abusive relationship. It can happen to anyone, regardless of their sex, wealth or background.

Abuse is not always physical; it can also be emotional, psychological or financial.

It usually starts off slowly through a process of manipulation, which can go unnoticed until it becomes unbearable for the victim, causing them to feel powerless, dominated and alone.

Financial abuse in particular is often the precursor to other forms of abuse and has nothing to do with money but instead, is all about controlling the other person and using money to do so.

The Family Team at Leeds Day see many cases where one partner has complete control of the finances. Often one spouse has given up work to look after the family and is given ‘pocket money’ to pay for things such as bills, groceries and after-school clubs, leaving nothing for themselves.

Often this role is taken on by a wife but this is changing over time. Sadly many wives endure the situation until a certain point in their lives, such as when the children leave home, when they feel that they can then focus on their own needs. However, the long lasting effects of abuse should not be overlooked.

There is no doubt that it is a difficult subject to talk about. Many clients are a shell of their former selves when they come to us, having not spoken to anyone about their situation during their marriage but no one should suffer in silence. Often clients feel liberated and empowered following their decision to divorce their controlling spouse.

There are also various remedies available through the Courts to protect against domestic violence, including orders regarding harassment, threats of violence and the occupation of the home. A breach of these orders can result in a fine or even imprisonment.

To make a successful application to the Court for a protective order or an injunction, called a non-molestation order, time is of the essence. The Court can also make an order that a violent partner must leave the family home immediately in circumstances where there has been actual harm. Either way, it is vital that the person seeking help speaks to a legal advisor as soon as possible.

If your partner makes you feel threatened or anxious or if you feel you are in an abusive relationship, please call our Family Law Team on 0844 567 2222, email us at or call the National Domestic Violence Helpline, which is open 24 hours a day and can be reached on 0808 2000 247.

By Charlene Powell of Leeds Day

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