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Protection can be obtained against spousal abuse

Millions of people nationwide, including here in Connecticut, are victims of domestic violence. Spousal abuse often goes unnoticed, minimized or ignored by others because -- in many cases -- it is not physical violence but other forms of abuse. Victims of such abuse often avoid reporting it because they fear for their own safety and the safety of their children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says both men and women can be victims of physical abuse that includes any acts of violence with the potential to cause injuries. While physical intimacy is a natural part of most marriages, sex is sometimes used as an aggressive form of abuse. This includes marital rape and acts in which sex is used to degrade or humiliate a spouse.

One type of abuse that can cause severe emotional damage typically takes place over long periods and involves the breaking down of a spouse's mental and emotional strength and sense of self-worth. The goal of such abuse is typically to gain complete control over a spouse by shaming, ridiculing and demeaning him or her. Threats of abandonment and physical violence often form part of emotional abuse along with name-calling and intimidating or controlling behavior.

Connecticut victims of spousal abuse need not endure such circumstances because help is available. In addition to the safety offered by shelters, an experienced family law attorney can assist in obtaining immediate protection through the court system. Temporary safety may be obtained through protection or restraining orders, and if an arrest has been made, an attorney can provide legal counsel throughout the court proceedings.

Source: livestrong.com, "What Is Considered Spousal Abuse?", Elise Davis, Accessed on Jan. 14, 2016

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