Types of Abuse

Types of Abuse

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior which may include physical and sexual violence, threats, insults, and economic deprivation which is aimed at gaining then maintaining power over an intimate partner.

People of all races, cultures, professions, educational backgrounds, sexual orientations, and socio-economic status experience domestic violence.

One primary aspect of Domestic Violence that must be understood in order to fully recognize the problem is the result of choice.


about domestic violence cycle of violence


It is NOT caused by

Cultural Differences
Religious Beliefs
Problems from childhood
Past war experiences

Physical Illness
Financial problems
The Victim

Adapted from House of Ruth, Inc., Volunteer Training Manual, Claremont, CA (909) 623-4364.

There are many types of abuse:

Physical Abuse

  • Throwing objects at the survivor
  • Pushing or shoving the survivor
  • Threatening the survivor with weapons
  • Hitting, punching or kicking the survivor
  • Choking or throwing the survivor

Emotional Abuse

  • Insulting the survivor repeatedly
  • Calling the survivor names
  • Yelling at the survivor
  • Blaming the survivor for everything
  • Threatening to hurt/kill the survivor and/or the children

Spiritual Abuse

  • Discounting the survivor’s sense of right or wrong
  • Denying the survivor’s value as a person with legitimate wants and likes
  • Questioning the survivor’s sense of reality
  • Denying, minimizing or ridiculing the survivor’s spiritual beliefs

Sexual Abuse

  • Expecting the survivor to have sex after an abusive incident
  • Criticizing the survivor’s sexual performance
  • Withholding affection to punish the survivor
  • Accusing the survivor of looking at, talking to, or having sex with another


Financial Abuse

  • Restricting a survivor’s access to assets or bank accounts
  • Forcing a survivor to be a stay at home parent
  • Preventing a survivor from working or securing a job
  • Survivor may not be able to obtain a work permit
  • Forcing an allowance on a survivor
  • Taking a survivor’s earned money

Social Abuse

  • Insulting the survivor publicly
  • Putting down the survivor’s capabilities as a spouse, parent, lover or worker
  • Demanding all of the survivor’s attention and resenting any focus on others
  • Isolating the survivor from friends or activities
  • Spending money without first meeting basic financial obligations


From the book “It’s not Okay Anymore” by Greg Enns and Jan Black

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