The term “domestic violence” includes more than just physical abuse, though that may be the picture that comes to mind. While domestic abuse does include forms of physical violence, it also encompasses other forms of abuse.
Here is a rundown of everything included under that umbrella term.
This type of abuse may leave physical evidence, such as bruises, but sometimes it does not. A slap or pinch, for instance, might not result in any skin tearing or scarring. Physical abuse might also encompass forcing someone to use drugs.
When one person forces another to take part in a nonconsensual sexual act, whether they are strangers, friends, family or even married, this constitutes sexual abuse. Harassment and unwanted physical contact may also be considered sexual abuse, as would forcing someone to have sex sans contraception.
Emotional abuse is a constant undermining of the victim’s self-worth, based on long-term humiliation or insults. Proving this type of damage can be difficult. Only the most extreme cases will result in a domestic violence charge, and often claims cite emotional abuse along with another kind of violence.
Slightly different from emotional abuse, psychological abuse is a long-term pattern designed to make the victim fearful and intimidated. It may include:
- Threatening someone with violence
- Stopping them from leaving the house
- Limiting their contact with people outside the relationship
While you have likely heard of the other types of abuse on this list, financial abuse may be one you are not familiar with. It happens when someone tries to control you through your finances. A partner could be stealing from your joint account, or a family member might try to prevent another from pursuing an education so they will remain financially, and thus emotionally, dependent. One partner keeping money from the other for necessities such as food is another form of financial abuse.