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What Does Family Violence Look Like?

In 2012, the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) provided shelter for more than 11,000 adults and 14,000 children. In 2011, there were 17,983 incidents of family violence, 102 of which ended in death. Knowing when you need a protective order is critical to your well-being and your health, and the safety of your children.

Separation and divorce are particularly precarious times for individuals suffering from domestic violence. While men may suffer spousal abuse, the large majority of domestic violence victims are women.

Perpetrators of family violence use threats, bullying, lies, violence and coercive behavior to maintain control of their partners. Victims of spousal abuse may be unwilling to admit that they are being victimized, but they play along to keep the peace in a potentially deadly game. Recognize these signs of domestic violence:

  • Fear: If you are fearful in your own home, of emotional or physical abuse, you are in an abusive environment.
  • Types of abuse: There are several types of abuse. Even if you are not physically or sexually abused, you may be yelled at, harassed, threatened, blamed or belittled in a way that leads you to know that you will suffer if you dare to express your feelings or free agency.
  • Control: Domestic abuse is a power play. If your partner limits your financial or personal freedom, keeps you from using the car or phone, or does not allow you to see friends and family, you are in an abusive, possibly volatile, relationship.

If you have children, they are at as much risk as you are — and they understand that nothing is being done. That is a powerful message for a child. If you are concerned for your safety, get help from law enforcement, contact TCFV or speak with an experienced family law attorney.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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