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How does divorce affect domestic violence?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2022 | Divorce

For whatever reason, there is a pervasive belief that divorce somehow stops domestic abuse. While it is true that if contact is cut off from the abusers, the violence stops, but the abuse usually just transitions to another form.

How do we know the abuse continues?

Researchers have surveyed victims who divorced or left their abusers. Surprisingly, the researchers found that over 90% of the victims continued to be victimized for years, sometimes, even decades after they left their abusers.

How does the abuse continue?

Physical violence is just one version of abuse. Gulfport, Mississippi, abusers continue to look for ways to terrorize. Often, this takes the form of economic abuse, but it can also extend to emotional abuse and even parental alienation.

Examples of economic abuse

Prior to the divorce, the immediate economic abuse is usually to drain or lock all the accounts. During and after the divorce, they may even submit credit applications to as many companies as they can, take out new lines of credit and max-out existing credit lines. This limits the other spouse’s ability to live because utility companies will not allow them to activate new accounts, and they will not be able to get their own credit because of this poor credit history.

Abusers often go a step further by using your child’s economic needs against you as well. They will strategically misplace items multiple times to cause you to repurchase them. They may promise the child big-ticket items and trips, and then put the blame on you when it is just not possible.

Emotional abuse and isolation

The emotional abuse and isolation may start immediately after you leave, but you may find that it continues, even post-divorce. If you interact directly with your abuser in the future, they will gaslight you on the abuse. They will try to get you to question your mental health and sanity, question your memory and try to make you focus on the “good times.” This may be to get you back, but it is an attempt to change the dynamic, including with your friends and family. They want to be seen as the victim.

Some abusers go as far as catfishing their ex-spouses in a further attempt at emotional terrorism. They will try to get your friends and family to choose between the two of you, and they will say whatever it takes to turn them against you.

While you cannot stop them from trying to continue their abuse, you can mitigate it. First, talk with your friends, family and Gulfport, Mississippi, lawyer prior to leaving. Make sure your case is shored up before you go, including protective orders, etc.