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What is 'expressive aggression' in Georgia domestic violence?

Many Georgia residents likely think of domestic violence in the traditional sense of physical violence. Indeed, many individuals who live with domestic abusers experience the effects of a partner who will lash out physically for any or no discernable reason. However, it is an unfortunate fact of the pattern of domestic abuse that physical violence is only one part of the environment in which abuse victims live.

For example, the Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) has a category of emotional abuse that it identifies as "expressive aggression." This is a subset of emotional abuse that involves a domestic partner who uses words and language to intentionally make one feel bad or in fear. It can include a wide variety of behaviors, all of which are distinctly unpleasant.

For example, according to the PADV, expressive aggression can include behavior such as making specific generalized comments degrading one's gender as a group, or acting in such a way as to cause a specific partner humiliation, like calling him or her names or using pejorative language about appearance or intellect. It can also include using others one might care about, such as family, friends or children or pets as tools to intimidate or instill fear. Threatening to cause physical or sexual harm to a partner, that person's friends, family or children may also fall into this category.

It should be understood that Georgia law protects people from physical or emotional violence, and a protective order may be requested to further this end in many cases. Further, emotional abuse often leads to physical abuse, as well as the psychological toll it takes on victims, so it should not be shrugged off as unimportant. Individuals with questions about their options in handling domestic abuse in a legal manner may wish to consider consulting a Georgia family law attorney.

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