Generally speaking, abuse is any behavior that results in the mistreatment of another. There are seven major kinds of abuse: physical, emotional/verbal, social, sexual, spiritual, financial, and systems. To describe what is meant by “mistreatment of another”, some common examples of abuse are listed below:
- Destroying your belongings.
- Throwing objects at you.
- Touching you in ways that hurt or scare you.
- Twisting your arm, slapping, or biting you.
- Pushing or shoving you.
- Depriving you of food, shelter, money or clothing.
- Threatening you with weapons.
- Hitting, punching, or kicking you.
- Strangling or throwing you.
- Abusing you to the point you need medical treatment.
- Breaking your bones and/or causing internal injuries.
- Causing a miscarriage or injuries that require a therapeutic abortion.
- Denying you medical treatment.
- Inflicting permanent disabling and/or disfiguring injuries.
- Taunting you in the name of “fun”.
- Ignoring you and/or your feelings.
- Insulting you repeatedly.
- Yelling at you.
- Telling you that you will fail.
- Blaming you for her/his faults.
- Threatening you with violence or retaliation.
- Threatening to hurt your pets.
- Threatening to abuse the children and/or get custody of them.
- Telling you that you must stay because you can’t make it alone.
- Accusing you of being violent when you protect yourself in any way.
- Labeling you as crazy, stupid, bitch, bastard, ugly, or a whore.
- Blaming you for things that go wrong.
- Holding back approval as a form of punishment.
- Insulting you publicly.
- Controlling your use of money.
- Putting down your abilities.
- Checking up on you.
- Taping conversations.
- Following you from place to place – stalking
- Demanding all of your attention and resenting any focus on others.
- Making a public display of destroying property.
- Threatening to hurt your extended family and friends.
- Isolating you from friends or activities.
- Spending paychecks without meeting obligations.
- Talking about you or others as sexual objects.
- Forcing you to have sex, including sex after a beating.
- Criticizing your sexual performance.
- Withholding affection to punish you.
- Accusing you of looking at, talking to, or having sex with another.
- Forcing you to engage in sexual activities that are uncomfortable for you.
- Inflicting harm or mutilation of your genitals.
- Strangling or slapping you during sex.
- Discounting your sense of right and wrong.
- Denying, minimizing, or ridiculing your spiritual beliefs.
- Denying your value as a person with legitimate wants and likes.
- Questioning your motives for just about everything.
- Questioning your sense of reality.
- Refusing to allow you access to worship communities or support groups.
Adapted from: It’s Not Okay Anymore, Greg Enns and Jan Black, Hannibal House, Inc., 1996.
- Violating restraining and protection orders.
- Lying to officials – including Judges – concerning legal information (property value, income, insurance and retirement benefits, etc.).
- Counter suing for divorce and/or custody after victim has applied.
- Filing a restraining or protection order on the victim before the victim files against the abuser.
- Making false statements and/or coercing children into false statements explaining the types and amount of abuse in attempt to minimize the impact.
- Withholding, diverting, or embezzling funds.
- Controlling funds so victim does not have access to purchasing basic needs.
- Denying the victim the right to seek and/or maintain employment.
- Taking victim’s personal money with or without permission.
- Excluding the victim from making financial decisions.