Spouse Abuse

 Unfortunately, many people are not even aware they are in an abusive relationship.

There are those who would never dream of discussing their private lives with friends or family to check if what they are experiencing is ‘normal’. And in some communities where people don’t have access to information, they think that they are the source of their own discomfort and confusion. It doesn’t occur to them that their spouse may be acting abusively. I’ve represented people from almost every cultural community in Israel who wouldn’t call the treatment they are suffering at the hands of their spouses, abusive. They just know they’re ‘unhappy’.

Sexual Abuse
This is any kind of sexual contact forced on someone against their will. There are those who don’t think sexual assault exists in marriage. Far too many women (and men) feel that it’s their duty to provide sexual relations, that it’s ‘owed’ as part of the commitment of marriage even when assault is involved. This can come from cultural beliefs as well as from the individuals doing the abusing.

Physical Abuse
Striking someone is not the only form of physical abuse. Holding or restraining someone to limit their access to and from a place falls into this category. Locking a person in or out, refusing them the basics of life — water, food, hygiene — are also considered physical abuse.

Psychological Abuse
This is one of the hardest to prove especially in Israel, because it is often confused with anger. Some of the actions involved in this kind of abuse are humiliation, criticism, control and shame, emotional neglect, isolation and blame.

Financial Abuse
One of the most prevalent and under recognized forms of abuse, this includes being required to account for everything one spends money on. Pressures to quit a job or interfering with the performance of a job can be a sign of financial abuse. When one spouse feels entitled to the other’s money or assets or spends money without their knowledge it could be a red flag. Financially abusive spouses control how all of the household finances are spent, limit their partner’s access to their own bank account and often live in the family home without working or helping with household tasks.

Getting out of an abusive relationship has its own challenges and the more information you have the easier it will be. Please contact us with any questions you have about leaving your abusive  spouse or to arrange a complimentary case evaluation. 

Allegations of domestic abuse are often not taken seriously and have resulted in many deaths of women who were killed by their husbands or partners.
At the same time, false claims of domestic abuse are used as a tool during divorce to get the spouse removed from the home.

 

If you are being abused:

Leave and call a social worker for advice.


If you don’t have a family member to go to, they will send you to a domestic violence shelter where you will be guided as to your next steps.


If you are attacked or hurt, call the police.


If you feel threatened, call the police.


Try not to be alone with your spouse. A third party presence may protect you and will provide a witness.


Record abusive behavior by video or audio and keep a dated record of these events for use later in court.

See video explanation here.

There are three main areas of abuse and abuse that exists during the marriage often continues during divorce proceedings.

 

Physical abuse - striking or physically holding to limit access to and from a place.


Financial Abuse - when a spouse or partner withholds money or dispenses insufficient funds for basic needs or is denied access to bank accounts etc.


Psychological Abuse - the hardest to prove because in Israel it is often confused with anger.

 

If you believe yourself to be in an abusive relationship, reach out for help. See video explanation here.

Abused spouses usually start the divorce process a number of times before they go through with it. Or they don’t even attempt a divorce.
But if you are abused or afraid, you should leave. It’s the best way to stop the abuse.
If you can’t leave, apply for a restraining order. This will only last for a short period.
Apply for temporary child support and custody. Not the most ideal situation but sometimes it’s the only choice to protect yourself. See video explanation here.

The simple answer is..... you can't. But often there is proof of abuse that you aren’t aware of.
WhatsApp messages or emails could contain abusive language or threats.
Past police reports.
Medical records of emergency visits due to abuse.
And if you are able to begin recording things like arguments, or even video whenever you can you'll have what you need to prove you're in an abusive relationship. See video explanation here.

Once divorce proceedings have begun, most people no longer want to see the spouse they are divorcing. And once someone has left the house, the manner in which they left will determine whether or not they can be let back in.

If the abusive husband leaves due to a court order that was issued because of abuse he’ll be allowed back in the house when the order expires. That being said if he hurts you or threatens to hurt you, call the police and they will remove him from the house.

If he left because he didn’t want to be with you or is with another woman it will be easy to refuse him entry back into the house. And the amount of time he was gone is also a factor. The longer he’s gone the more evident it is that he doesn't have any expectation to be let back in.

The more frequent these instances are, the more likely you can get a long term restraining order.

The best case scenario is reaching an interim agreement where one of you leaves the house throughout the divorce process and child care and support issues are dealt with as well. See video explanation here.