Verbal Abuse

Trusted Family Law Attorneys in Westlake Village

California takes domestic violence seriously, and seeks to protect those who have been abused. Verbal abuse is considered a facet of domestic violence by the state. Verbal abuse is handled by civil counts, and is considered a form of harassment. If you are not sure if you require legal help, many organizations exist to provide information for victims. Domestic violence counselors can help you find protection, but if you wish to take legal action against your abuser, you will need experienced legal advocacy from a family law attorney.

At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff, I will protect you with over 30 years of legal experience. I understand the ins and outs of family law, and have served as a Judge Pro Tem and a mediator. With my deep knowledge of family law, I will provide you with personalized attention for your case and I am available to you whenever you need me, even after hours.

Types of Verbal Abuse

Violence is violence, whether it is physical or verbal. You deserve to be safe from threats, name calling, and psychological manipulation just as much as you deserve to be safe from physical violence. Verbal abuse is often subtle, and designed to make your abuser feel more powerful than you. There are many forms of verbal abuse, and some may occur so often that you may no longer recognize it for what it is—abuse. Forms of verbal abuse can include:

  • Withholding information about their thoughts or feelings
  • Countering or dismissing expressions of emotion, opinions, or experiences
  • Disguising verbal abuse as “just a joke”
  • Blocking certain topics and diverting the other speaker with accusations of speaking too much or out of turn
  • Accusing or blaming situations on the victim, even if the situation is beyond their control
  • Judging or criticizing the victim, and using “you” statements, such as “You’re always so negative.”
  • Trivializing the victim’s achievements and making them seem insignificant
  • Undermining the victim’s suggestions or thoughts, opinions, or interests
  • Threatening the victim with physical violence, breakups, or damage to their reputation
  • Name calling, either explicitly, or more subtly by implying the name has negative connotations
  • Forgetting promises, appointments, or dates without remorse
  • Ordering the victim around or demanding certain behaviors
  • Denial of poor behavior or consequences of these behaviors
  • Abusive anger, such as yelling or telling the victim to “shut up”

The Lasting Effects of Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse can leave scars long after the victim has been removed from the situation. Many victims of verbal abuse experience anxiety and depression after an abusive relationship. The effects of an abusive relationship may not appear immediately, but can build over time. Often, victims may be afraid to seek professional help for their issues, or the root of the problem may not be treated.

Some lasting effects of verbal abuse include:

  • Mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD
  • A loss of enthusiasm or spontaneity
  • Perpetually feeling on-guard
  • Worry about how you present yourself to others
  • Feel they caused their abuse or were in the wrong
  • Worry about your happiness or not allow yourself time to heal
  • Feel as if you are missing out
  • Live in the future, and ignore the present
  • Low self esteem

Finding Help

Getting help is critically important in an abusive relationship. Many abusers seek to isolate victims, and it can be difficult to get in touch with reality again. Victims may also need help getting out of an abusive marriage or gaining legal protection from an abuser.

An experienced family law attorney can help you petition for a restraining order, file for a divorce, or bring a claim against your abuser for harassment. Your safety should come first, but a qualified lawyer will understand the complexity of a case involving domestic violence, and will ensure that you are protected during the process. If you have children, it is particularly important that you stay safe and that they are protected as well.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff can help you protect yourself from your abuser. Whether you need help obtaining a restraining order, filing for divorce, or gaining custody of your children, I can offer compassionate legal representation and assistance.

Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff today for a free initial consultation by calling (805) 633-4999.

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