What is Domestic Abuse?

Escape

Goal

To understand what domestic abuse is and various forms it can take.

Domestic abuse, sometimes called domestic violence, is behavior that is used by one person in a relationship to control the other. There are many types of abuse, but generally abusive behaviors are categorized as: Physical, Emotional/Verbal, Sexual, or Financial.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is what most people picture when they think of abusive relationships. It is defined as intentional and unwanted physical contact, and may sometimes cause obvious signs of physical harm, such as bruising, broken bones, or scratches.

Emotional and Verbal Abuse

Emotional and verbal abuses are often harder to recognize. This kind of abuse involves using words or emotions to control someone. It may involve the abuser threatening to harm him or herself, his or her partner, or others including pets in the house. It could also involve controlling behaviors like constantly checking in on whereabouts and schedule.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when someone pressures other person to perform sexual acts they do not want to perform. It may involve physical force, but may also take the form of verbal pressure or threats.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is in some ways the least noticeable kind of abuse for an outsider to recognize. It involves one person exercising control over another’s finances in order to control the other person’s behavior.

More on Types of Abuse

Article on types of abuse at Love is Respect.

True or False: All abusive relationships involve physical harm.

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