Domestic violence is still far too common and misunderstood in our society. Yet, it can be a difficult topic to discuss and even harder to spot. Women and men who are suffering from domestic violence will not likely come right out and admit it, either for fear of reprisal or because they themselves are not fully aware. One of the first steps to combating domestic violence, however, is to know what to look for.

1) The person is withdrawing. Domestic violence is not always physical violence. Often times, it can be emotional or mental abuse wherein one partner works to dominate and control the other partner. They will use fear, shame, and guilt to manipulate and isolate the other partner from their support systems and those who might be able to figure out what is going on. They will blame the other partner for the abuse, humiliate and yell at the other partner, and limit their access to the phone, the car, and money. Women are more likely to be victims, but they too can be perpetrators, particularly with verbal and emotional abuse.

2) The person has unexplained injuries. Most people will have bumps and bruises from benign events that do not raise eyebrows. Where those bumps and bruises become more common and are in places that are unusual, the possibility of some sort of physical violence in the home goes up. This is especially true if the person is also withdrawing from friends and family and giving vag

ue and unconvincing explanations for recent scrapes and injuries.

3) The person is fearful. Fear is an abuser’s most potent weapon in establishing and maintaining control over another partner. There can be fear of physical or sexual violence, as well as fear that the abuser will take away the partner’s children. There is also fear of the abuser’s uncontrollable temper or threats to commit suicide if the person should leave. Not surprisingl

y, this fear will likely spill over into all other aspects of the person’s life.

4) They are being worn down by the stress. Living with an abuser can be extremely stressful. Hypervigilance about staying on the abuser’s “good side”, or not making them angry, or just keeping the children safe means that the person may not be sleeping very much or eating. They may have unexplained headaches, digestive problems, asthma, or back pain. These are directly related to the constant stress of being in an abusive relationship and may be far more telling than any other factor that something is terribly wrong.

Domestic Violence and Gun Ownership in Michigan

If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are safe places in Michigan that can help you including First Step Shelter. If you are safe, but need legal guidance on how to extricate yourself from the relationship or to ensure the safety of your children, trust the attorneys at Melissa Pearce & Associates, PLC who will handle your case with compassion and efficiency. Call us at (248) 676-8976 today.With respect to gun ownership and domestic violence, Michigan has neither the strictest nor the most lax laws in the United States. Anyone convicted of domestic violence or domestic assault in Michigan is prohibited from applying for a concealed pistol license for eight years after the conviction. Even then, the judge in the case has broad discretion to add additional restrictions on an individual’s ability to purchase, carry, transport, or possess any firearm.

~Originally Published in November 2017~

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