Let’s Talk About What Abuse Is – Types of Abuse

As we go into this new year,  I wanted deal with what abuse is.  There are different types of abuse.  Abuse is very wide spread – the same is true in types of domestic abuse.

The following information is taken from The National Domestic Violence Hotline – thehotline.org.

It is said on their website, “No names, no fees, no judgments. Just help.

The number is 1-800-799-7233, 855-812-1011 for deaf and hard of hearing, 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.

Domestic violence doesn’t look the same in every relationship because every relationship is different. But one thing most abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many different kinds of things to have more power and control over their partner.

Some of the signs of an abusive relationship include a partner who:

  • Tells you that you can never do anything right
  • Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away
  • Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members
  • Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs
  • Controls every penny spent in the household
  • Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses
  • Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you
  • Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do
  • Prevents you from making your own decisions
  • Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children
  • Prevents you from working or attending school
  • Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets
  • Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons
  • Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
  • Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol

Explore the tabs below to learn some of the common warning signs of each type of abuse. Experiencing even one or two of these behaviors in a relationship is a red flag that abuse may be present. Remember, each type of abuse is serious, and no one deserves to experience abuse of any kind, for any reason. If you have concerns about what’s happening in your relationship, contact us. We’re here to listen and support you!

There are different types of abuse.  Those will include:

Physical Abuse

You don't have to live in abuse.

You may be experiencing physical abuse if your partner has done or repeatedly does any of the following tactics of abuse:

  • Pulling your hair, punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking you
  • Forbidding you from eating or sleeping
  • Hurting you with weapons
  • Preventing you from calling the police or seeking medical attention
  • Harming your children
  • Abandoning you in unfamiliar places
  • Driving recklessly or dangerously when you are in the car with them
  • Forcing you to use drugs or alcohol (especially if you’ve had a substance abuse problem in the past)

Emotional Abuse

You may be in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship if you partner exerts control through:

  • Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
  • Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
  • Trying to isolate you from family or friends
  • Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with

    The bravest thing you can do is reach out for help

  • Demanding to know where you are every minute
  • Trapping you in your home or preventing you from leaving
  • Using weapons to threaten to hurt you
  • Punishing you by withholding affection
  • Threatening to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
  • Damaging your property when they’re angry (throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors, etc.)
  • Humiliating you in any way
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Gaslighting
  • Accusing you of cheating and being often jealous of your outside relationships
  • Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
  • Cheating on you intentionally to hurt you and then threatening to cheat again
  • Cheating to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you are
  • Attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how much/little makeup you wear, etc.
  • Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them

Sexual Abuse & Coercion

Sexually abusive methods of retaining power and control include an abusive partner:

  • Forcing you to dress in a sexual way
  • Insulting you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names
  • Forcing or manipulating you into to having sex or performing sexual acts
  • Holding you down during sex
  • Demanding sex when you’re sick, tired or after hurting you
  • Hurting you with weapons or objects during sex
  • Involving other people in sexual activities with you against your will
  • Ignoring your feelings regarding sex
  • Forcing you to watch pornography
  • Purposefully trying to pass on a sexually transmitted disease to you

Sexual coercion

If you need help healing from sexual abuse, reach out for help now!

Sexual coercion lies on the ‘continuum’ of sexually aggressive behavior.  It can vary from being egged on and persuaded, to being forced to have contact. It can be verbal and emotional, in the form of statements that make you feel pressure, guilt, or shame. You can also be made to feel forced through more subtle actions. For example, an abusive partner:

  • Giving you drugs and alcohol to “loosen up” your inhibitions
  • Playing on the fact that you’re in a relationship, saying things such as: “Sex is the way to prove your love for me,” “If I don’t get sex from you I’ll get it somewhere else”
  • Reacting negatively with sadness, anger or resentment if you say no or don’t immediately agree to something
  • Continuing to pressure you after you say no
  • Making you feel threatened or afraid of what might happen if you say no
  • Trying to normalize their sexual expectations: ex. “I need it, I’m a man”

Even if your partner isn’t forcing you to do sexual acts against your will, being made to feel obligated is coercion in itself. Dating someone, being in a relationship, or being married never means that you owe your partner intimacy of any kind.

Financial Abuse

Economic or financial abuse is when an abusive partner extends their power and control into the area of finances. This abuse can take different forms, including an abusive partner:

  • Giving an allowance and closely watching how you spend it or demanding receipts for purchases
  • Placing your paycheck in their bank account and denying you access to it
  • Preventing you from viewing or having access to bank accounts
  • Forbidding you to work or limiting the hours that you can work
  • Maxing out credit cards in your name without permission or not paying the bills on credit cards, which could ruin your credit score
  • Stealing money from you or your family and friends
  • Using funds from children’s savings accounts without your permission
  • Living in your home but refusing to work or contribute to the household
  • Making you give them your tax returns or confiscating joint tax returns
  • Refusing to give you money to pay for necessities/shared expenses like food, clothing, transportation, or medical care and medicine

Reproductive Coercion

Many spouses refuse to use or cooperate in using birth control because the more children you have the less likely you will be able to leave. This helps them maintain their power over you. Click here for help getting ‘your power back'.

Reproductive coercion is a form of power and control where one partner strips the other of the ability to control their own
reproductive system. It is sometimes difficult to identify this coercion because other forms of abuse are often occurring simultaneously.

Reproductive coercion can be exerted in many ways:

  • Refusing to use a condom or other type of birth control
  • Breaking or removing a condom during intercourse
  • Lying about their methods of birth control (ex. lying about having a vasectomy, lying about being on the pill)
  • Refusing to “pull out” if that is the agreed upon method of birth control
  • Forcing you to not use any birth control (ex. the pill, condom, shot, ring, etc.)
  • Removing birth control methods (ex. rings, IUDs, contraceptive patches)
  •  Sabotaging birth control methods (ex. poking holes in condoms, tampering with pills or flushing them down the toilet)
  •  Withholding finances needed to purchase birth control
  •  Monitoring your menstrual cycles
  •  Forcing pregnancy and not supporting your decision about when or if you want to have a child
  •  Forcing you to get an abortion, or preventing you from getting one
  • Threatening you or acting violent if you don’t comply with their wishes to either end or continue a pregnancy
  • Continually keeping you pregnant (getting you pregnant again shortly after you give birth)

Reproductive coercion can also come in the form of pressure, guilt and shame from an abusive partner. Some examples are if your abusive partner is constantly talking about having children or making you feel guilty for not having or wanting children with them — especially if you already have
kids with someone else.

Digital Abuse

The greatest thing you can do is to get help!

Digital abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online. You may be experiencing digital abuse if your partner:

  • Tells you who you can or can’t be friends with on Facebook and other sites.
  • Sends you negative, insulting or even threatening emails, Facebook messages, tweets, DMs or other messages online.
  • Uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and others to keep constant tabs on you.
  • Puts you down in their status updates.
  • Sends you unwanted, explicit pictures and demands you send some in return.
  • Pressures you to send explicit videos.
  • Steals or insists on being given your passwords.
  • Constantly texts you and makes you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone for fear that you will be punished.
  • Looks through your phone frequently, checks up on you asr pictures, texts and outgoing calls.
  • Tags you unkindly in pictures on Instagram, Tumblr, etc.
  • Uses any kind of technology (such spyware or GPS in a car or on a phone) to monitor you

You never deserve to be mistreated, online or off. Remember:

  • Your partner should respect your relationship boundaries.
  • It is ok to turn off your phone. You have the right to be alone and spend time with friends and family without your partner getting angry.
  • You do not have to text any pictures or statements that you are uncomfortable sending, especially nude or partially nude photos, known as “sexting.”
  • You lose control of any electronic message once your partner receives it. They may forward it, so don’t send anything you fear could be seen by others.
  • You do not have to share your passwords with anyone.
  • Know your privacy settings. Social networks such as Facebook allow the user to control how their information is shared and who has access to it. These are often customizable and are found in the privacy section of the site. Remember, registering for some applications (apps) require you to change your privacy settings.
  • Be mindful when using check-ins like Facebook Places and Instagram. Letting an abusive partner know where you are could be dangerous. Also, always ask your friends if it’s ok for you to check them in. You never know if they are trying to keep their location secret.
  • You have the right to feel comfortable and safe in your relationship, even online.
  • Keep in mind, there are several types of domestic abuse.  Abuse is abuse.  Get help.  Get Safe.

– Tisha Jones is an amazing ‘soccer mom’| Awesome wife to a husband who can’t live without her| Avid junk food eater| Fierce blog writer about abuse and victim blaming. Wanna get her blood heated? Blame the Victim | Kind-hearted writer about relationships and other life issues | Author of What They Hardly Warned Us About – fewwarnings.com

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18 Comments

  1. I am saluting your courage in writing this article. It is so very thorough and helpful. We are indeed dealing with a major epidemic and education is the only way to deal with it.
    I hope so many people read this article and have the courage themselves to get the help they need.And the woman/man has to be ready to get help.
    As so many women have experienced this devastating way of life, I can only hope that this conversation can finally become an non issue. But it will only happen with loads of attention to the issue and education that starts in the home and early childhood. Such as learning non violent language and communication. and what is considered appropriate behavior.
    Abuse keeps happening because it is a cycle of generations. I hope so fervently, that there will be a day when domestic abuse and violence will become eradicated. Thank you so much for being so courageous! How are you going to follow up this piece? In peace and gratitude, ariel

    • Thank you for your comment. How am I going to follow up the piece? Very frightenly. I am going to deal with my experience in dealing with emotional/abuse in my home and how it’s also prevalent in the church. I am going to dig as far as I can. I might lose friends but if it can help someone get free, I’m willing.

  2. This is something everyone needs to be educated about. There seems to be more and more abusive relationships these days. I would like to mention that some of these abuser will be very kind and give you gifts in some way at the beginning. It could be helping you with something around the house,fixing things for you or buying you things.

  3. A huge round of applause for you. What a great article on a really important issue. I am going to share it with all the people I know. I have not read such a great article on abuse. you really did a good work and please keep it up. Looking forward for your other articles as well.

    • Thanks but I can’t take the credit. This info was based on the Domestic Violence Website. I am referring those in abusive relationships to them. I’ll have a few more articles to go ‘live’ on regarding abuse – relaying real life experiences and such. I plan to turn individuals to the DV website going forward.

  4. My father is a police officer and I hear about the reality of abuse toward woman and children on a regular basis. It’s quite scary to think it could be happening to someone you know without even realizing it as many of the victims are often to scared or ashamed to talk about it.
    Educating people on identifying situations where abuse is taking place can play a big role in fighting it.

  5. Some of these things we normally see happen around us but we or the abuse getting abused does nothing about it may be because they dont realize its a abuse. My sister in laws husband does not wear condom despite her continuously requesting him and every year she is pregnant. Anyways we need to take an action and this is the best place for it as people are educated and they realize that they are being abused. Thanks for sharing.

    • You are totally welcome. That whole pregnancy thing is to keep people locked up and trapped in a cycle with them. If you have several children are not being treated right by your husband, where are you going to go? It’s really a ploy of control to keep the woman locked down.

      Totally sad.

  6. A very informative post about DV. It is such a hot topic in my state at the moment due to a number of cases that are being discussed in the media after known DV perpetrators killed or seriously injured their spouses/ex-spouses. Everyone says oh this is dreadful we need to do something, yet it continues. I have had friends in DV situations and it is not as simple as just leaving as that is the most dangerous time for the person because the perpetrator realises they are losing their control. I follow a couple of DV shelter support groups on Facebook who set up safe houses and donate what I can, when I can as often they want household items or just basic toiletries etc. I really think government at all levels need to do more to ensure the safety of the victims and the courts need to stop releasing the perpetrators – a piece of paper means NOTHING to them!

    • I wanna learn how to help deal with that. The abused becomes greater targets when they try to leave. They can lose their lives months or years later. It’s so sad.

  7. I lived in a very abusive relationship for 7 years. Physically, emotionally, financially, and sexually. The first three applied to me and the 4th “sexually”, involved my oldest daughter. It was very, very, bad times. I wasn’t allowed to have friends, talk or see my mom, dress like a woman in public, or even keep my own check from work (I got an allowance)!! I’ve been through it, but I’m not going in too deep here about it. Just so others can read and understand, this really does happen and we really do let it happen because of fear, low self-esteem, fear of what might happen… the list goes on. It almost destroyed my family, my daughters, and myself.
    That was 18 years ago! We all survived it because I finally got out of the situation.
    Right before he was sent to prison, he killed himself – 3 years after I left him and found out what he had done to my oldest daughter!!
    Please beware, these things really do happen and we have to have the strength to stand up for ourselves and get help when needed.
    Don’t live in an abusive relationship as long as I did. It only gets worse.

    • Thank you so much for opening up, Devara. I’m so sorry that you and your daughter went through that. Abuse is so amazing in the sense that people honestly feel that they can do that to someone freely. Especially to someone that THEY say THEY love.

      I am so glad you’re free.

  8. Yep, been there done that. I was in a very abusive marriage for ten years. Pretty much everything you have listed I went thru. My friends (who I could only see at work) and my family all told me I needed to leave him. The thing is, at the time the threats were very real and he always told me if I left he would kill me. I believed it. I knew I was trapped. One day, a position for a different region came open that would take me from Alaska to Utah. All expenses were paid, along with the sale of my house and associated costs. With it all being in my name (he also claimed to be a kept man) I knew what I had to do. But on top of it I was pregnant and NO WAY was I putting another human being thru this. So I discreetly took the position, told my boss this could not be told to anyone. When the time came, I had him kicked out of my house and I left. For a couple of years we still feared for our lives. He would continually call and I would answer for more of it. Finally, I decided not to take his calls and that day was the first day of my freedom. People who are in this position, you can do it. You can get away. Once you take the first step, then it is easy sailing.

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