Emotional Domestic Abuse Can Lead to PTSD
When we think about domestic violence, we tend to think of the victims who suffer physical abuse. As we should. But, we often push the victims who suffer from emotional and psychological abuse to the backburners in our mind. Enduring any kind of emotional or psychological abuse, regardless of how long it might have gone on, can result in some form of trauma.
One form of trauma that victims of domestic abuse can suffer from is post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. This type of trauma can make victims relive their horrible experience of abuse through flashbacks, nightmares, and night terrors; which in turn can interfere with the victim’s ability to function normally on an everyday basis. This can be accompanied by sudden mood swings and changes in personality.
Here’s a startling fact. 88 percent of women who are survivors of all domestic violence incidents living in domestic violence shelters all have some type of PTSD. And, at least 75 percent of domestic abuse victims suffer from anxiety.
When the victim suffers solely from emotional abuse, the trauma can be interpersonal. This type of trauma is known as complex PTSD, and it can be more difficult to recognize than typical PTSD. Unfortunately, this can cause more complications for the victim. They can lose their identity, along with their ability to trust their instincts. Those who suffer from emotional domestic abuse are convinced that they are at fault for how they were treated.
The symptoms of both PTSD and complex PTSD are as follows:
- Emotional numbness
- Difficulty sleeping/nightmares
- Lack of concentration
- Physical pain
- And much, much more
These symptoms can last at least a month or can occur a year or even decades after the emotional abuse has ended.
Emotional Abuse and the Law
The law can be quite tricky when emotional domestic abuse is involved. Those who have been emotionally abused are going to need evidence of the abuse. That’s hard because emotional abuse doesn’t have much in the way of physical evidence left behind by the abuser.
When proven, claims of emotional abuse can lead to restraining orders. Under the New Jersey Domestic Violence Act, restraining orders are obtainable by domestic violence victims who are a spouse, former spouse, member of the household, or parent (past, current, or future).
In the Garden State, there are fourteen criminal offenses that qualify in order to obtain a restraining order. These offenses are assault, criminal restraint, criminal trespass, false imprisonment, kidnapping, sexual assault, lewdness, harassment, stalking, terroristic threats. Because of the offenses needed in order to qualify for a restraining order, emotional abuse victims don’t always receive the benefit of the doubt.
Contact Anthony Carbone
If you have been abused, mentally or physically in a domestic violence incident, it’s time to speak up. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone for a free consultation. Remember, you’re not alone in this. We are here to help.