Types of Violence and Abuse

There are five different types of violence and abuse: physical, emotional, economic, spiritual, and sexual. Abuse and battering is about the need for power and control. It’s about domination over the victim, not the abuser’s problem with anger because life is so hard and stressful.

Batterers manage very well to control their anger so that only their victims see it. Abusers also use threats of these actions in order to control their victims.

The more you answer “yes” to the list below, the higher the chance you are an abusive relationship. Although this may be an odd statement, most victims are shocked after reading "types of violence" to learn they are victims of abuse.

Abusers and batterers have the ability to make victims feel crazy, and even convince them that they caused the abuse or violence done to them, or it happened differently then it actually did. They purchase gifts or flowers or take them on spectacular trips to "apologize" for the abuse.

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This type of manipulative behavior causes the victim to doubt herself. After years of this kind of abuse, the victim believes they are the crazy one, believes they injured themselves, or believes they shouldn't have made their partner mad.

If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, we are here for you. We want you to know you are not alone.

Types of Abuse:

In a Relationship of EMOTIONAL ABUSE You May Experience the Following from Your Abuser:

  • Constant criticism. Swearing, name calling, degrading and shaming comments.
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous, domineering, or possessive.
  • Isolates you from family and friends.
  • Monitors where you go, who you call, and who you spend time with.
  • Persuades you not to work.
  • Controls the household finances and all money. Gives you an allowance.
  • Punishes you by withholding affection.
  • Expects you to ask permission.
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family, or your pets.
  • Humiliates you, embarrasses you, mocks, or makes fun of you publicly or privately.
  • Damages property when angry—thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.
  • Abandons you in an unsafe or unfamiliar place.
  • Drives recklessly to cause fear.
  • Kicks you out of your home.
  • Imprisons you in your home or keeps you from leaving.
  • Stops you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
  • Intimidates you to force your obedience.
  • Repeatedly tells you that you are worthless and unimportant.
  • Blames you for the violence abuser does to you.
  • Convinces you that there is no way out of the relationship.

In a Relationship of SEXUAL ABUSE You May Experience the Following from Your Abuser:

  • Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
  • Accuses you of cheating. Is jealous of your outside relationships.
  • Forces you to dress in a sexually provocative way.
  • Insults your sexuality or calls you sexual names.
  • Forces or manipulates you into having sex or performing sexual acts.
  • Holds you down during sex.
  • Demands sex when you are sick, tired, or after beating you.
  • Uses weapons or objects during sex.
  • Involves other people in sexual activities with you.
  • Disregards your feelings regarding sex.
  • Forces you to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity.
  • Forces you to view pornography.
  • Forces participation in pornographic filmmaking.

In a Relationship of SPIRITUAL ABUSE You May Experience the Following from Your Abuser:

  • Will not allow “religion” in the house.
  • Will not allow you to go to your place of worship.
  • Will not allow a Bible, religious literature, videos, CDs, DVDs, or cassettes in the home.
  • Forbids religious television programs.
  • Mocks your religion.
  • Forces children to be reared in a faith other than what you two initially agreed upon.
  • Prevents you from practicing your beliefs.
  • You are threatened that “if you become too religious” you will be removed from your place of worship.
  • States that he is “god.”
  • Expects you to “worship him.”

In a Relationship of ECONOMIC ABUSE You May Experience the Following from Your Abuser:

  • You are given an “allowance.”
  • Money or credit cards are withheld from you.
  • Abuser steals from you.
  • Abuser fraudulently takes your personal resources/assets.
  • Abuser uses your personal resources/assets for his/her own desires.
  • You are prevented from working.
  • Your pay checks are taken from you.
  • Abuser withholds food, clothing, medication, or necessities from you.

Types of Violence:

In a Relationship of PHYSICAL ABUSE You May Experience the Following from Your Abuser:

  • Pushing, slapping, hitting, striking, biting, kicking, attempts to strangle you.
  • Throwing, grabbing, punching, beating, tripping, bruising, choking, shaking.
  • Pinching, holding, restraining, or confinement.
  • Broken bones, stabbing.
  • Uses weapons or items around the house to threaten or hurt you.
  • Uses physical force in sexual relations.
  • Burning.
  • Murder.

If you have experienced one or more types of violence or abuse please go to understanding domestic violence to learn more.


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