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Types of abuse

Emotional and Psychological

This type of abuse can be verbal and chips away at you and your confidence, making you feel dependant on your abuser and unable to leave them. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as shouting, name calling, blaming and shaming you, for anything and everything.

  • Do they tell you you’re unattractive?
  • Do they say you will never get anyone as good as them?
  • Tell you how lucky you are to have them?
  • Belittle you, especially in front of others?
  • Do you feel isolated or intimidated?
  • Do they try to control you, telling you what to wear, who to be friends with, who not to be friends with?
  • Your abuser will try to make you fearful of them, threatening to harm themselves, you or others. Your abuser will try to undermine your self-worth, often with constant put downs.

Physical abuse

This can be a wide range of behaviour, including

  • Punching
  • Slapping
  • Hitting
  • Biting
  • Kicking
  • Pulling hair out
  • Burning
  • Strangling

Often you will be injured where others can’t see or can easily be covered up. Domestic abuse is often to gain; to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair” and uses

  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Intimidation

To wear you down and keep you under their thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.

Sexual abuse

  • Rape and sexual abuse is common in abusive relationships, because your right to consent is likely to be ignored. Any situation where you are forced to take part in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity is abuse.
  • People who’s partners abuse them physically and sexually, are at a higher risk of being seriously hurt or killed.
  • Partners and former partners may use force, threats or intimidation to engage in sexual activity- threaten to show that naked photo to others if you don’t do what they want.
  • They may use humiliating behaviour, force the use of pornography or force their partners to have sex with other people.
  • If you are raped or sexually assaulted by someone close, you are likely to suffer severe psychological affects due to the continued level of fear experienced.

Financial Abuse

  • Economic or financial abuse limits your ability to seek help.
  • Your abuser controls your finances, withholds money and withholds basic necessities, such as medication or food.
  • You may find that they prevent you from working or even forces you to work against your will, or in a job you don’t want.
  • The abuser may do things to sabotage your job, such as constantly calling you at work or making you miss work on a regular basis.
  • The abuser may take control of your wages and limit your access to money, eg take hold of your bank card. You mind find that you have to justify where and when you spend your money.

Controlling Behaviour

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependant by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive Behaviour

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.