Physical abuse of a spouse is prohibited by law. Domestic violence is as illegal as an assault and/or battery on a stranger. The law provides the same protections and remedies to abused spouses. These rights in many cases extends to unmarried individuals in an intimate relationship.
Because abusers often blame the violence on the victim, the abused person may come to believe they are to blame and not seek help due to shame, embarrassment, or not knowing that the abuse is criminal.
Laws prohibiting physical abuse expressly or implicitly cover many kinds of behavior that people may not know is considered abusive. The harm is not limited to beatings and other forms of physical assault, but can include not being permitted to leave or enter your home, withholding of medication, damaging or destroying personal property and stalking.
If you fear your spouse or have other reasons to feel you are being abused, you may want to consult an attorney. An attorney can:
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