As in every state, domestic abuse is a crime to which many Texans become victims. According to the National Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, more than one in three women and more than one in four men have been victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by a partner in their lifetimes. Although 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women, men do not escape this type of violence. It is important to know the types of abuse and the options available to those victims looking for help.
Types of Abuse
When people think of abuse, they often imagine physical altercations. While this is common, there are many other forms of abuse, aside from physical harm, that individuals endure from their loved ones.
Emotional Abuse: This form of abuse plays on an individual’s emotions to exert control over him or her. If your partner calls you names, refuses to trust you, monitors where you go, and tries to isolate you from your family and friends, you may be suffering from emotional or psychological abuse.
Sexual Abuse: This type of abuse can include physical harm through sexual acts or sexual coercion. Your partner may force you to have sex, make you dress in a sexual manner, ignore your feelings regarding sex, or hurt you while having sex.
Financial Abuse: In some cases, a partner will exert control over their significant other through financial means. If you are being financially restricted, forbidden to earn money, or are not allowed to view your financial accounts, your partner is most likely using these tactics as a form of abuse and control.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself?
Obtaining an order of protection, commonly known as a restraining order, is one way to protect yourself if you are suffering from any form of abuse. Three qualifications must be met in order to obtain an order of protection: someone has hurt or threatened to hurt you, you are afraid you may be hurt again, and either you or your spouse or dating partner has a close relationship with the individual who hurt you. Protective orders do require a hearing in court; however, a judge can grant you a temporary order to protect you in the meantime. Most restraining orders last up to two years, but this is dependent upon the decision made by the judge.
Contact a Houston Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you should take steps to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe from further harm. An order of protection is the best way to protect yourself legally and physically, whether it is obtained in response to abusive behavior or because of the threat of violence. At The Foray Firm, your family’s well-being is our first priority, and we have extensive experience helping individuals obtain orders of protection. If you are considering taking legal action against your abuser, contact our Katy, Texas domestic violence attorneys today at 832-919-6400 for help.