Types of Abuse

Physical Abuse

Includes bodily harm, discomfort or injury including hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, pushing, burning, biting, torture, restraining, assault with a weapon, withholding of food and/or medical care, and/or murder.

Psychological/Emotional Abuse

Any act that provokes fear, diminishes the woman’s dignity or sense of self-worth, and/or intentionally inflicts psychological trauma as a means of exerting power and control over the woman. Psychological abuse can include criticism, degradation, humiliation, excessive possessiveness, threats (suicidal, homicidal, deportation, kidnapping children, harming family, friends and/or pets), controlling a person’s daily activities, social isolation, and/or purposeful destruction of property and/or pets.

Sexual Abuse

Includes any act of forced sexual activity, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual touching, the refusal to use protection from STD’s or unwanted pregnancy during sex, and forced exposure to or participation in pornography or prostitution.

Verbal Abuse

The use of comments that are known or that ought to be known to be unwelcome, threatening, degrading, offensive, and/or embarrassing.

Economic/Financial Abuse

The misuse of an individual’s money or belongings by another individual. Economic abuse includes, but is not limited to, the withholding and/or restricting of money needed for food and/or clothing, denying the right to seek and/or maintain employment, taking personal money, denying independent access to money, and/or excluding the victim from financial decision-making.

Spiritual Abuse

Includes degrading another person’s spiritual beliefs, withholding the means to practice, and/or forcing adherence to a belief system.