Types of Abuse

Types of Abuse Explained

Please read the "downloadable" chart, "Shades of Grey," that has more examples of relationship abuse [pdf file].

1) physical

includes any forceful behavior such as standing over you, getting "in your face," blocking a doorway, preventing you from leaving, hitting, kicking, punching, biting, slapping, choking, threatening to harm you, using weapons, throwing things, breaking things, punching walls or doors, driving recklessly, burning, cutting, pulling hair, stabbing, strangling, tying or confining you (holding you down), preventing you from seeking medical care, murder.

2) emotional

includes making threats, isolation, manipulation, insults, put downs, intimidating you, public humiliation, talking down to you, not listening to or respecting your feelings, being jealous, possessive, controlling; excessive or threatening, wanting access to your messages (email, internet, phone), spying, checking up on you, accusations of cheating, making you feel like you need to justify yourself, giving you no privacy, shaming you publicly or privately, accusing you of having affairs, threats of suicide, self injury, or homicide if you leave.

3) verbal

includes yelling, shouting, swearing, continuously arguing, interrupting, talking over you, put downs, telling you that you are worthless, that you are a bad parent, using loud and threatening language and tone to cause fear, name calling, intimidating you, mocking you, abusive language, constantly interrupting, telling other people that you are crazy, blaming you for the abuse.

4) economic, financial

includes controlling all income, not letting you work or keep a job, withholding money, making you ask for money, giving an allowance, taking your money, running up debt under your name, opening up a joint account but you don’t have access, forcing you to leave your job, forcing you to get fired, shaming you for how you spend your money, not allowing you to work or get an education, putting all the bills/credit cards in your name, preventing you from using a car.

5) mental, psychological

includes playing mind games with you, twisting everything around so nothing is their fault and all of their behavior was caused by something you did or didn’t do, accusing you of doing things that they are doing, lying, manipulating you for control or sex, threatening to "out" you to parents, friends, classmates, distorting reality so you think you are losing your mind.

6) sexual

includes rape, forced or coerced sex with partner or another person or an object, unwanted sexual touching, vulgar comments, pressure for sex or forcing you to have sex, forcing you to get pregnant or to have an abortion, forcing you to have sex with other people or to watch your partner have sex with someone else, forcing you to use or participate in pornography.

7) spiritual, religious

includes selective use of scriptures, e.g. "Wives be submissive to your husbands" without regard to it’s context, namely, "Submit yourselves to one another" and "husbands love your wives…" or "church abuse" where leadership have complete control over members based on fear and manipulation; extreme control.

More information about the types of abuse can be found on the following websites


→ www.asafeplacenh.org/?page_id=26
→ asafeplacenh.org/Handouts/Shades%20of%20Grey-%20Half%20Fold.pdf
→ truthinreality.com/category/general/cults-and-religious-abuse/
→ www.projectpave.org/6-types-abuse

Types of Abuse