Verbal and emotional abuse is more common than physical violence, and is often present in domestic and intimate relationships. While a certain amount of bickering is normal in any relationship, it can easily cross the line into abuse. So, what is verbal abuse and is it considered to be domestic violence in Wisconsin?
What is Verbal Abuse?
Again, arguments are normal in all relationships, and sometimes people can even say awful things to each other. Some signs of verbal abuse are:
- Frequent yelling or screaming.
- Attempts at humiliation.
- Passing off awful things as “jokes.”
- Arguments that come out of the blue, yet are somehow your fault.
- Dredging up unrelated issues in arguments, constantly. This is sometimes called “kitchen sinking.”
- It only happens when nobody else is around.
- Unconstructive criticism.
- Withholding, isolating and sulking.
- Gaslighting (systematically trying to make you question your version of events).
- Breaking or smashing things.
- Threatening violence.
Everyone does awful things sometimes, but if it becomes a pattern, then verbal abuse might be happening. If you find yourself engaging in these behaviors, you almost certainly need help. If you are being accused of these things and don’t think you have a pattern, then you likely have a problem in your relationship.
Is Verbal Abuse a Crime in Wisconsin?
The answer is that it can be. First of all, harassment is illegal in Wisconsin, and it includes “repeated acts that harass or intimidate another person and which serve no legitimate purpose.” Additionally, domestic abuse in Wisconsin includes threatening to cause pain, threatening sexual assault, and includes both destroying property and threatening to do so. So, depending on what you actually said, you could indeed be facing domestic violence charges for excessively yelling or verbally attacking persons.
Consequences of Verbal Abuse
The most likely consequence is an emergency protective order or a temporary restraining order. The latter is generally issued in cases of harassment, while the former covers domestic violence.
Criminal convictions are relatively rare, but they can happen, especially if somebody managed to record the conversation. In all cases, you need a good domestic violence attorney to help you avoid criminal charges and fight for your rights. Contact J. Kippa Law Office, LLC to find out how we can help you.