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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: The Legal Corner: Warning signs of domestic abuse

September 29, 2009

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and continues to be one of the most complicated and intractable problems in our country. There are many reasons for the complexity of the issue. First, the issue is easy to ignore because it rarely occurs in public. Second, if the abuse is emotional or mental, it is very difficult for people to understand. Finally, and most alarming, domestic abuse is often overlooked, excused, or even denied by the very people within the relationship. This article will be the first in a three-part series over the next month grappling with domestic abuse issues, and alerting victims of resources.
Domestic abuse occurs when one person in a relationship attempts to completely control, manipulate, and dominate the other person. This can be done through physical violence, emotional abuse, or mental abuse. Recognizing the signs of domestic abuse and acknowledging the abuse is the first and most difficult step for anyone involved in an abusive relationship. It is also the most difficult step for anyone who has witnessed an abusive relationship. While a full discussion of the warning signs of abuse could fill thousands of pages, in this article, I will list some of the most common warning signs.
The first signs to look for are inner feelings. Do you feel like you are walking on egg shells when you are around your partner? Do you feel emotionally numb because of your partner’s treatment of you? Do you avoid certain topics around your partner or believe that you deserve to be mistreated? Do you ever feel afraid of your partner? Your inner thoughts and feelings about yourself and your partner are the first place to consider as warning signs.
Next, you should consider your partner’s treatment of you. Does your partner humiliate you? Does your partner constantly criticize you no matter what you do? Are you embarrassed by the way your partner talks or treats you in front of others? While most people in relationships have verbal fights on occasion, are your fights with your partner always one-sided? If your partner constantly belittles you, you should consider it a warning sign of domestic abuse.
Another warning sign is a partner’s controlling behavior. Does your partner ever control where you go or what you do? Does your partner prevent you from seeing friends or family via threats or passive aggressive behavior? Is your partner excessively jealous? Any attempts that your partner makes to control your behavior are warning signs of domestic abuse.
Finally, any threats or violent acts by your partner should be considered clear warning signs of domestic abuse. Does your partner have an uncontrollable or unpredictable temper? Does your partner ever threaten to hurt you? Does you partner threaten to take your children away from you? Does your partner ever hit, choke, push, pinch or kick you? Violent threats and violent acts are the most obvious sign of domestic abuse.
You should not live in fear of your partner even if you love that person. There are many resources available for help. If you recognize warning signs of domestic abuse in yourself or someone you know you should seek help.
In Carroll County, Starting Point provides services for victims of domestic abuse and has a 24-hour crisis line at 800-336-3795. For more information about Starting Point, you can go to Starting Point’s website is at: http://www.startingpointnh.org. Additionally, the Domestic Violence Emergency Project (DOVE) provides victims of domestic violence emergency legal services and also has a 24-hour emergency service at 1-866-644-3574. In addition, you can always talk to your doctor, a family member, a friend, or any other person that you feel comfortable with about your concerns. Acknowledging domestic abuse is the first and most important step toward ending it.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay