1. Physical Abuse

This type of abuse is most recognizable and can include any type of unwanted physical contact. Physical abuse does not always cause pain or markings but is still unhealthy. Signs of this type of abuse can include:

– Scratching, punching, biting, or kicking you

– Throwing objects at you

– Pulling your hair or clothing

– Using a weapon of any kind against you

– Forcing sexual acts

– Grabbing your face or body to draw attention or keep you from leaving

I was fortunate to not experience physical abuse in my relationship, yet I often witnessed his physical aggression towards inanimate objects, such as punching a wall or kicking an object across the room, which qualifies as emotional/verbal abuse.

2. Emotional/Verbal Abuse

This type of abuse can include any non-physical behaviors meant to assert emotional and mental dominance. There are several behaviors that can be identified as emotional/verbal abuse, including:

– Calling you names and putting you down

– Yelling and screaming at you

– Embarrassing you in public

– Monitoring your contact with others including friends and family

– Monitoring your physical appearance, such as clothing, hair styles, and makeup

– Damaging your property when angry

– Using social media or cellphones to control, demean, or insult you

– Blaming their abusive behavior on your actions

– Accusing you of cheating or exhibiting excessive jealousy

– Stalking

– Threatening to commit suicide to keep you in the relationship

– Threatening to harm you, your pets, or your family

– Making you feel guilty for not consenting to sexual acts

– Threatening to expose your secrets

– Starting rumors about you

3. Sexual Abuse

Like physical abuse, this type of abuse involves any unwanted physical contact by means of sexual pressure or coercion. A common misconception of sexual abuse is that if the victim does not resist or does not say no, it does not count as abuse. Some examples of sexual abuse can include:

– Unwanted kissing or sexual touching

– Unwanted, violent sexual activity

– Rape or attempted rape

– Refusing to use condoms and/or restricting use of birth control

– Keeping you from protecting yourself against STIs

– Sexual contact with you when you are drugged, drunk, unconscious, or otherwise unable to give consent

– Threatening you into unwanted sexual contact

– Pressuring or forcing sexual contact

– Using sexual insults

4. Financial Abuse

– Financial abuse is a much more subtle form of abuse and can entail:

– Giving you an allowance and closely watching your purchases

– Forbidding you to work or limiting the amount you work

– Preventing you from going to work

– Getting you fired by stalking or harassing you

– Hiding or stealing paychecks or other forms of financial support

– Using your social security number or the number of a family member

– Maxing out credit cards

– Refusing to give you money for food, rent, or other expenses

– Spending money on themselves, but forbidding you to do the same

– Using their money to assert power over you

5. Digital Abuse

Digital abuse is another common form of abuse that often goes unrecognized. This type of abuse can include:

– Telling you whom you can and can’t be friends with on social media sites

– Sending you negative or threatening messages

– Using social media to keep tabs on you

– Cyberbullies you (including name calling, put-downs, and harassment)

– Sends or solicits unwanted, explicit pictures or videos

– Steals or demands social media site passwords

– Constant or repetitive texts/calls

– Looks through your phone and/or gets defensive if you refuse

6. Stalking

While stalking is an aspect of emotional/verbal abuse, it can often involve several different aspects including:

– Showing up at your work or home unannounced or uninvited

– Sending you unwanted text messages, letters, emails, or voicemails

– Leaving unwanted items, gifts, or flowers

– Constantly calling and hanging up

– Using social media sites to track you

– Spreading rumors about you among friends and on social media sites

– Calling your employer, friends, or family

– Waiting at places you frequent

– Using other people as resources to find you or find out information about you

– Damaging you home, car, or property

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1. Physical Abuse This type of abuse is most recognizable and can include any type of unwanted physical contact. Physical abuse does not always cause pain or markings but is still unhealthy. Signs of this type of abuse can include: - Scratching, punching, biting, or kicking you - Throwing objects at you -...