The 5 Different Types of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence harms everyone in the family. However, children are extra vulnerable because they tend to take up these abusive behaviors and in turn be abusive to their children or partners. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to protect yourself and your children against the cycle of abuse. The following information is designed to explain and provide insight into the five different forms of domestic violence.

Physical Domestic Violence

Physical violence is the most recognized type of domestic abuse. It can be defined as actions taken by one partner to inflict physical injury or criminally assault the other partner or others in the family. Domestic violence includes:

  • Hitting
  • Grabbing
  • Slapping
  • Biting
  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Shooting
  • Stabbing
  • Or any other type of physical aggressive behavior

In addition, physical domestic abuse can also include one partner withholding access to the necessary resources for others in the family to keep up their health. Common examples include withholding:

  • Food  
  • Medication
  • A wheelchair
  • Fluids
  • Hygienic assistance
  • Sleep
  • Forcing drug abuse or alcohol

If you are coping with domestic violence in your home, you are not alone, and the Big Bend area offers several resources to help you through this time.

Sexual Domestic Abuse

Sexual abuse can be defined as any type of coerced or forced sexual behavior or act that is motivated to gain power over another individual. Common examples include sexual contact without consent such as:

  • Forced sex
  • Forced prostitution
  • Sodomy
  • Sex with others
  • Forced fondling
  • Acquaintance rape

Sexual abuse can also be explained as an attempt to undermine the sexuality of the victim, such as:

  • Degrading one’s sexual performance and desirability
  • Withholding sex
  • Accusing one of infidelity
  • Treating one in a sexually derogatory manner

Emotional Domestic Abuse

Emotional domestic abuse can be defined as the use of words to undermine or attempt to undermine another person’s self worth. The most common examples are:

  • Name calling, put-downs, or constant insults
  • Belittling one’s competence and abilities
  • Manipulating one’s feelings to induce guilt
  • Undermining one’s relationship with the children
  • Consistently making and breaking promises
  • Giving one the silent treatment

Psychological Domestic Abuse

Psychological abuse can be explained as the systematic use of explicit or malicious non physical acts against someone else. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 95% of men who physically abuse their partners also psychologically abuse them. Examples of psychological domestic abuse are:

  • Intimidation
  • Threatening to harm one’s family members
  • Threatening to harm oneself
  • Blackmail
  • Playing mind games
  • Stalking
  • Destruction of property and pets

At the same time, psychological domestic abuse can also include the isolation or attempting to isolate one from family, friends, school, and/or work. The most common examples of this type of abuse are:

  • Devaluing one’s personal relationships
  • Constant checking up on someone
  • Using unfounded accusations
  • Keeping one from using transportation or the phone

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse or financial adultery is the use or the misuse of the monetary resources of the family without the consent of the other partner. In addition, financial abuse can be defined as attempting or actually making the victim completely financially dependent on the abuser. Common examples of economic or financial abuse are:

  • Preventing the victim to work or jeopardizing their employment by continuously calling their job; forcing them to miss work; forced substance abuse; or creating conflicts with their supervisor, clients, or coworkers.
  • Stealing money, credit cards, or the checkbook
  • Demanding the partner show proof of all of the money they spend
  • Identity theft or forging their signature on financial documents
  • Maintaining control over financial resources

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