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How to Document Spousal Psychological Abuse

Spousal psychological abuse is a form of domestic violence that is often overlooked. While physical abuse is often more visible, psychological abuse can be just as damaging, if not more so. Spousal psychological abuse can leave lasting emotional scars that can affect a victim's mental health, self-esteem, and overall well-being.

Psychological abuse can take many forms that include:

  • Verbal attacks
  • Threats
  • Gaslighting
  • Isolation
  • Manipulation
  • Control
  • Emotional neglect.

Victims of psychological abuse may feel trapped and unable to leave the relationship. They may also feel ashamed, guilty, or responsible for the abuse. It's important to remember that no one deserves to be abused, and there is help available.

Psychological abuse can be difficult to identify and document, but it is essential that you do so in order to protect yourself, seek legal protection, and hold your abuser accountable. Taking these steps is also necessary if you are contemplating divorce.

Keep a Journal

Writing down the date, time, and details of any abusive incidents, including what was said and how you felt, can provide crucial evidence of the abuse. It can also help you track patterns of behavior and identify triggers for such abusive behavior. Remember to keep your journal in a safe and secure place that your abuser cannot access. In addition, you may want to tell a trusted friend or other family member that you are maintaining a journal.

Save Text Messages and Emails

Preserve any threatening or demeaning messages your partner sends you. As with the journal referenced a moment ago, keep copies of these messages in a safe place where your abuser cannot access them. These messages can be crucial evidence in legal cases. Also like with the journal, you may want to tell a trusted friend or family member that you have been saving text messages and emails indicative of abusive conduct by your spouse.

Take Screenshots

If your partner posts abusive messages on social media, take screenshots as evidence. Social media can be a powerful tool for abusers to harass and intimidate their victims, so it is important to document any abusive behavior that occurs online.

Record Phone Conversations

If your partner verbally abuses you over the phone, recording the conversation if it is legal to do so in your state can provide important evidence of the abuse. Make sure to check the laws in your state before recording any conversations. New Jersey is what is known as a one-person consent state. What that means is that as long as one person – you – has knowledge of this type of taping and consents to it occurring, it is lawfully undertaken.

Keep Medical Records

If the abuse has caused physical harm, keep a record of your injuries and medical treatment. This can be important evidence in a legal case and can also help you track your recovery from the abuse.

Get Witness Statements

If someone witnessed the psychological abuse, ask them to write a statement detailing what they saw. Witnesses can provide important corroboration of the abuse and can help strengthen your case in court.

Keep Copies of Police Reports and Restraining Orders

If you have involved law enforcement, keep a copy of any police reports or restraining orders. These documents can be important evidence in a legal case and can also help protect you from further abuse.

Remember that documenting spousal psychological abuse is important even if you are not sure you will pursue legal action. It can help you understand the extent of the abuse and can be a powerful tool for healing. If you are experiencing abuse, reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or domestic violence organization for support. You deserve to be safe and free from abuse.

Documenting spousal psychological abuse can be daunting, but it is an important step in protecting yourself and holding your abuser accountable. By keeping a record of abusive behavior, you can seek legal protection, track patterns of behavior, and identify triggers for the abuse. Remember that you are not alone and there are resources available to help you. If you are experiencing abuse, reach out for support. You deserve to be safe and free from abuse. Call (201) 845-7400 for a free divorce consultation.

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