Translate This Page Email a Friend Printer Friendly
Text Size: Sm Med Lg
Types of Abuse

Domestic abuse is more than just hitting. Violence is one of the most obvious and serious signs of abuse, but there are many others. Any time a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or family member makes you feel scared, threatened, or under their power, they're being abusive. Here are some of the most common forms of abuse:

Verbal Abuse: this means using words to hurt another person. This might include:
  • Name calling
  • Insults
  • Demeaning nicknames
  • Using language to control you or make you feel powerless
Emotional Abuse: is like verbal abuse, but it's more about using an emotional bond to hurt or control another person. It might include:
  • Being kind and caring one minute, and then cold and distant the next.
  • Getting jealous about the smallest things
  • Forbidding you to talk to other people
  • Refusing to trust you or believe what you say
Physical Abuse: is using physical strength to hurt and control someone else.

Sexual Abuse: includes
  • Rape
  • Unwanted touching
  • Any other unwanted sexual contact
  • Refusing to practice safe sex
Economic Abuse: this means using money to control and limit another person, including:
  • Taking control of your money
  • Refusing to give you money unless you do what your boyfriend/girlfriend says
  • Refusing to let you work for your own money
It's important to know that most abusers don't only stick to one kind of abuse. Dating abuse can start as mild outbursts every once in a while, and grow into something more serious. Some abusers do not move past verbal and emotional abuse, but with others what starts as verbal abuse can become physical and/or sexual abuse. In general, abuse happens more often and gets more serious over time.