Different types of dating abuse
Many people, when they hear the word “abuse,” think of physical violence.It’s important to note that physical force is one means of power and control and it is far from the only one. Below are six different types of abuse we discuss in our training with new volunteers or employees. Physical This is the type of abuse that many people think of when they hear the word ‘abuse.’ It can include punching, hitting, slapping, kicking, strangling, or physically restraining a partner against their will.Financial/Economic Because abuse is about power and control, an abuser will use any means necessary to maintain that control, and often that includes finances.Whether it is controlling all of the budgeting in the household and not letting the survivor have access to their own bank accounts or spending money, or opening credit cards and running up debts in the survivor’s name, or simply not letting the survivor have a job and earn their own money, this type of abuse is often a big reason why someone is unable to leave an abusive relationship.We work with survivors to get these issues resolved, but social safety nets such as food stamps, cash assistance, and health insurance can provide a much-needed bridge in the meantime. Cultural/Identity Cultural abuse happens when abusers use aspects of a victim’s particular cultural identity to inflict suffering, or as a means of control.Not letting someone observe the dietary or dress customs of their faith, using racial slurs, threatening to ‘out’ someone as LGBQ/T if their friends and family don’t know, or isolating someone who doesn’t speak the dominant language where they live – all of these are examples of cultural abuse.
The Power and Control Wheel is a tool our advocates use with survivors to identify patterns of behavior in their relationships.
It can also include driving recklessly or invading someone’s physical space, and in any other way making someone feel physically unsafe. Sexual While sexual abuse can be a form of physical abuse, we put it in a category by itself because it can include both physical and non-physical components.
It can involve rape or other forced sexual acts, or withholding or using sex as a weapon.
) or a purse, dimming the lights, and flat-out denying that certain things had taken place.
The result of this, especially over a sustained period of time – and often with the isolation that abusers also tend to use – is that the victim depends on the abuser more and more because they don’t trust their own judgment.