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The Difficulty In Recognizing An Abusive Relationship

New Jersey residents who are in relationships that involve domestic violence may take some time to actually realize that they are in abusive relationships. There are a number of reasons that this is the case. One reason is that domestic abuse is not just limited to physical violence. Any pattern of controlling another person is a form of domestic abuse, and that control may be financial or emotional. Sometimes, physical violence is an escalation from other types of control, and it is only at that time that an individual begins to recognize the abuse in the relationship.

However, even physical abuse does not necessarily signal that something is wrong to the person who is being abused. Sometimes, the physical abuse has to escalate before a person realizes that the relationship is abusive. This may occur when a person is particularly badly injured, when the violence happens in front of someone else or when the person becomes concerned about a child or another family member.

The nature of abusive relationships also contributes to the difficulty in recognizing them as such. There is a psychological component that causes individuals to question their own experiences and wonder if the abuse might be their fault.

Once an individual has recognized that a relationship is abusive, there is help available. A restraining order is designed to prevent the abusive individual from coming within a certain distance of the person who obtains the order. Individuals who feel they may be in abusive relationships may wish to speak with an attorney about their options. Help may be available in a variety of ways including legal protection, separation, divorce and custody agreements that protect children.

Source:, “The ‘a-ha’ moment for domestic violence victims“, Dustin Racioppi, July 05, 2014