Family violence may consist of physical, emotional, social, economic and spiritual violence inflicted by a family member to another family member.
Family violence is also known as domestic violence. Some people also refer to it as intimate partner violence but this reference is quite restrictive since under our family law domestic violence is committed not only against an intimate partner but to anyone in the family or household. There are many forms by which family violence is committed and each one is considered serious.
Family violence is committed by anyone in the family against another family member. It may be that the violence is committed by a spouse against a spouse, de facto partner against a partner, parent against child, sibling against sibling, a family member against a relative like the grandparent, uncle or niece.
The violence must be such that it causes the family member to be fearful. Family violence may be inflicted through:
Physical violence – this is when the family member is physically hurt or injured. Immediately have the injuries treated and report the incident to the police. Keep the medical certificate and prescription for medicines because aside from the injuries sustained these documents are evidence that you might need later on if you file a case in court.
Emotional violence – this is a type of violence that is difficult to detect. There are no scars to show but the effects are just as painful and long-lasting. With this type of violence a family member is made to feel worthless, insecure, and intimidated. Emotional violence may also consist of:
Economic violence – occurs when finances are unreasonably withheld from the family member. As a result, the family member becomes heavily dependent on the one withholding the money. The family member loses control and the power to make decisions in his own life since he must rely on the perpetrator of the violence for his financial support.
Social violence – happens when the family member is prevented from having a healthy social life out of the home. The family member is not allowed to form and nurture relationships with other persons like friends, schoolmates, co-workers and relatives. The perpetrator wants the family member to be isolated from other persons by unjustifiably not allowing calls, visits, and trips outside the house.
Spiritual violence – is when a person is hindered from practicing his religion, cultural beliefs and traditions. Spirituality gives a person happiness and peace. When spiritual violence is inflicted the family member’s total development is adversely affected.