Your partner has been calling you names for a few months. You don’t like it, and you’ve asked him to stop, but he just ignores you, laughs and calls you more names. Or maybe he manipulates you and plays emotional games, teasing you with hurtful jabs before doing an about-face, pretending like he’s joking. You think that since he’s not hurting you physically, his behavior is acceptable. But what if it’s not? What if he has already crossed the line into domestic violence?

Definition of Verbal and Emotional Abuse

The law defines domestic violence as continued abuse in an intimate-partner relationship, when one person tries to control the other. It might include mental, financial, sexual, emotional and physical mistreatment.

According to the federal government, verbal and emotional abuse technically constitutes domestic violence. Acts that isolate, control or scare you can affect your overall health and also presage future physical abuse.

Signs of Verbal and Emotional Abuse

•    Name calling
•    Constant criticism
•    Threats
•    Tearing you down
•    Yelling
•    Humiliates you in front of others
•    Using controlling statements, such as, “If I can’t have you, neither can anyone else.”
•    Blaming you for his or her actions
•    Shouting

Signs of emotional abuse include, but are not limited to, the following:

•    Controlling what you eat or wear
•    Constant monitoring of your activities
•    Questioning your faithfulness
•    Issuing false accusations
•    Using anger to intimidate you
•    Controlling money
•    Preventing or discouraging you from seeing friends or family
•    Using manipulative threats and blaming you for any actions
•    Making you quit school or work or attempting to keep you from going to school or work
•    Attacking your self-esteem or self-worth
•    Attacking abilities, such as cooking or house cleaning
•    Belittling you in front of your children.

Finding Help Fast

If you feel trapped in a relationship characterized by verbal or emotional abuse, call your local police station immediately, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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Photo of Jason Brown Jason Brown

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated, with honors, from Mankato State University, Mankato in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason…

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated, with honors, from Mankato State University, Mankato in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has successfully litigated against some of the more recognized family law attorneys in the Twin Cities. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, and one of the Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Minnesota by the Society of Legal Advocates.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Jason serves as a mediator, and court-appointed early neutral evaluator, in divorce and family law cases throughout Minnesota. He frequently writes and speaks concerning divorce and family law issues, including several invitations to present seminars for the Minnesota Judicial Branch in St. Paul.

Beyond family law, Jason has represented hundreds of clients accused of a serious crime, including arson, fraud, unauthorized computer access, burglary, felony strangulation and obstruction of justice. He also provides estate planning services.

Local media appearances by Jason include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, Fox 9 Television and WCCO Television. His national media appearances include NBC News, Time Magazine, USA Today and the Huffington Post.

Jason is the former chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Trial Lawyer’s Association, and taught divorce and family law coursework within the paralegal program at North Hennepin Community College. He publishes the Minnesota Family Law Blog, which has been recognized as a “Top 25″ by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Outside of the office, Jason enjoys playing the bass and electric guitar and spending time in the north woods of Wisconsin.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Adoption
  • Restraining Orders
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Notable Cases
  • Representation of Four Grandparents in Minnesota’s First Quad-Parenting Adoption
  • Representation of Client in Minnesota’s First Same-Sex Divorce
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota State Bar, 2000
  • US District Court – District of Minnesota, 2002
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 2000
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, 1997
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper