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What Does Domestic Violence Look Like in an Older Couple?

Posted on in Divorce

Kendall County Domestic Abuse Divorce LawyerDomestic violence affects every age, race, and income level. Often, some of the most abusive marriages are those that appear perfect from an outsider’s perspective. Sadly, many domestic violence victims stay in abusive relationships because they are afraid to leave. They may not have the financial means to live independently or worry about what people would think if they left the relationship. Others stay with abusive partners because their partners have brainwashed them into thinking that they somehow deserve the abuse. If you are over age 50 and want to end an abusive marriage, a divorce lawyer experienced in domestic violence issues can help.

Abuse is Not Always Physical

One of the most common misconceptions about domestic abuse is that it is always physical in nature. Hitting, kicking, slapping, and pushing are only one form of domestic violence. Per Illinois law, abuse can also involve non-physical forms of harm. In older couples, abuse often takes the form of mental and emotional maltreatment, financial control, and intimidation.

Domestic violence in a marriage with spouses over age 50 may involve:

  • Depriving a spouse of necessary medication or medical devices – Sadly, some abusers withhold important medication like insulin or use medication as a tool to control the abuse victim. The abuser may hide the victim’s glasses, hearing aids, or other medical equipment to make the abuse victim feel helpless and vulnerable.  

  • Dictating a spouse’s every move – Abusers thrive on power and control. They may isolate the victim or control when the victim can see friends and family. The greater the abuser’s control over the victim, the more alone and powerless the victim feels.

  • Financial control – When one spouse makes most or all of the household income, this can be used against the other spouse. Abusers may use money to control their victim and keep track of the victim’s whereabouts and activities.

  • Psychological manipulation – Gaslighting and other forms of psychological abuse aim to make a victim question his or her own judgment. Abuse victims over age 50 may be subject to this manipulation for years or even decades. This can make it extremely difficult for the victims to trust their own instincts and feelings.

Leaving an Abusive Marriage

If you are in an abusive marriage, do not let your age prevent you from seeking a better future. It is never too late to leave a relationship that causes you physical or emotional pain. Work with a lawyer skilled in “gray divorce” or divorce involving older spouses. Additionally, you may want to ask the court for an Order of Protection requiring your spouse to move out of your shared residence, cease contact with you, and stay a certain distance away.

Contact a DuPage County Gray Divorce Lawyer

No one should ever have to tolerate physical, emotional, psychological, or financial abuse. If you are over age 50 and want to divorce your abusive spouse, contact the Wheaton divorce attorneys at Divorce Over 50 - Goostree Law Group for help. Call 630-634-5050 for a free, confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

https://acl.gov/programs/protecting-rights-and-preventing-abuse/elder-justice/late-life-domestic-violence

https://www.nextavenue.org/domestic-violence-can-worsen-couples-age/

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