Specialists in Domestic Violence Law

Domestic Abuse Lawyers

The term “Domestic Abuse” covers a whole litany of categories.

We can help if you have been subjected to any of these abuses by your partner, ex-partner, or another family member. It should also be borne in mind that certain actions may fall into more than one category of domestic violence.

Here at McAlister Family Law, we have a team of experts who deal with a wide range of abuses.

We act both for domestic abuse victims abuse and those in abusive relationships, as well as for individuals who are accused of being the abuser.

Physical Abuse Is Never Okay

What constitutes physical abuse may sound obvious.

In most cases, there is an intention to cause physical harm to the victim – whether that be by the abuser using their own hands to hit the victim or using a weapon.

Physical abuse can also encompass less obviously violent actions, such as pushing someone out of the way or physically restraining somebody.

Any action that involves encroaching in your personal vicinity unwarranted may constitute physical violence and abuse.

Verbal Abuse Is More Than You May Think

Verbal abuse covers a wide range of abuses. It does not simply mean being spoken to out loud, for example sending aggressive text messages or voice notes can just as easily cause someone to feel they are being verbally abused.

Common examples of verbal abuse include:

  • Derogatory name-calling
  • Shouting and screaming at the victim
  • Bad-mouthing the victim to friends and family members

Psychological or Emotional Abuse Is Also Linked

This type of abuse ties in with the verbal abuse mentioned above. Being subject to excessive name-calling can wear a victim down.

Perpetrators of domestic abuse in intimate relationships often act in calculated ways to make the victim feel bad about themselves, or perhaps wonder if they are the problem and somehow responsible for the abuser acting in the way they are.

This area of abuse is increasingly common and we at McAlister Family Law are experts in handling these difficult and complex allegations.

Are You Being Gaslit? We Can Help

One particularly common form of psychological abuse is gas-lighting.

When somebody is “gaslit”, they question themselves repeatedly. An abuser carrying out gaslighting behaviour will attempt to distort the victim’s reality – this can be by continually insisting that the victim is misremembering things or that how they perceive the world around them is somehow wrong.

The abuser may deny ever saying anything that the victim clearly remembers them saying, or invent stories whereby they have said or done something when, in reality, this was not the case. The victim is left confused and doubting their own recollection and sense of reality.

The victim thinks there is something “wrong” with them and, as a result, the abuse continues by the abuser unabated.

Coercive and Controlling Behaviour Is Just as Bad

Some abusers don’t act in particularly aggressive or violent ways, they seek to enact their abuse through more subtle actions.

Coercive control and controlling behaviour relate to actions whereby the abuser manipulates the victim into acting in a way that the abuser wants, often to the detriment or against the wishes of the victim.

Controlling behaviour is where an abuser seeks to control aspects of the victim’s life.

This can be on one or two specific areas – “I don’t think you should wear that”, “You’re not eating that”, “We’re not going there again” – or it can be far more wide-reaching such that the victim feels they have a lack of autonomy and no free will to make their own decisions.

Harassment and Stalking Lawyers

When couples separate, one or both parties can often feel aggrieved at the separation. This is understandable.

However, some people can take it too far and seek to maintain that relationship, failing to accept that the relationship has come to an end.

The abuser in this instance may begin following the victim when they are out and about, or perhaps approaching the victim near their home. This type of abuse can also take place online, via social media and/or instant messaging platforms.

All of our solicitors have experience in dealing with applications regarding harassment and stalking.

Don’t Suffer in Silence With Sexual Abuse. Our Team Can Help 

Sexual violence is a difficult subject to speak out on but it is one of the most serious forms of abuse that a victim can suffer.

Sexual abuse ranges from being pestered to engage in sexual intercourse to being raped, with all manner of abuses in between.

Nobody should feel pressured into any sexual behaviour that they are either not comfortable with or do not want to engage with. Pressuring someone to do so is also abuse.

Specialists in Financial Abuse Claims

Financial abuse is effectively a form of controlling behaviour. The abuser acts in such a manner as to control the finances and prevent the victim from having access to the family earnings.

There are shades of grey with economic abuse – suggesting that the parties need to rein in their spending to minimise debt would not be considered financial abuse. But preventing someone from having access to family funds for no reason would likely be considered a form of abuse.

This is the case even if there is an allowance being given.

Again, there are grey areas and whether the actions constitute abuse would be determined on a case-by-case basis. Still, if the allowance being provided does not afford the victim a basic quality of life, then there are grounds to consider that as being abusive behaviour.

What About Other Types of Abuse?

The above list highlights the most common types of abuse that we as legal professionals encounter in family law matters.

This is not an exhaustive list and you may feel that you are being abused in ways that are not mentioned here.

If you have concerns, there are many domestic violence services that can help you. Speak to the experts, we are here to help.