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Types and Signs of Abuse


  • Actual physical violence or the threat of physical violence, which includes: hitting, kicking, slapping, shaking, pushing, pulling, punching, choking and strangling, biting, scratching, pinching, pulling hair, stabbing, shooting, drowning, burning, hitting with an object, threatening with a weapon, or threatening assault.

  • Withholding of physical needs includes: disrupting sleep, refusing to provide money, food, transportation, or assistance for illness or injury, and undermining shelter by preventing the victim from entering the home.

  • Indirect abuse or threatened abuse through injury towards children or pets.

  • Hitting walls or other objects, throwing objects, and destroying property in anger.

  • Holding the victim against their will.

Emotional & Verbal

  • Damaging the victim’s self-confidence through ongoing criticism and insults, including public humiliation and name-calling.

  • Gaslighting the victim and making the victim think they’re crazy through mind games, minimizing abusive behavior, or denying any abuse even occurred. Telling the victim and/or others that the victim is mentally unstable and unintelligent.

  • Threatening to kill or harm the victim and/or themselves to make the victim feel guilty or responsible.

  • Making the victim feel guilty by using the children and threatening to take the children away.


  • Non-consensual contact, including non-consensual penetration or touching of any part of the victim.

  • Using force or the threat of force, coercion, guilt, or manipulation to pressure the victim to have sex.

  • Exploiting a victim who is unable to make an informed decision about their sexual activity due to being asleep, intoxicated, under the influence of substances, disabled, underaged, elderly, or dependent upon or fearful of the abuser.

  • Ridiculing the victim’s sexuality or physical appearance, including offensive statements and insults related to the victim’s sexual preferences and behavior.

  • Extreme jealousy, which may evolve into accusations of infidelity, stalking, and dictating the victim’s interactions and relationships with others.

  • Cheating on the victim and using adultery to criticize and taunt the victim.


  • Using religious texts and sources to justify abusive behavior and guilt the victim into

  • staying in the relationship.

  • Telling the victim that God is angry with them and their behavior

  • Not allowing the victim to practice their religious beliefs and isolating them from their spiritual community.

  • Using religion to force the victim to dress more or less conservatively than the victim chooses.

  • Enforcing idea that women are subservient to men and exist to serve their husband’s needs; treating the victim like a servant rather than an equal part of the household, especially by controlling the decision-making and asserting authority.


  • Controlling the family income and preventing the victim from accessing it.

  • Lying about or hiding the household finances from the victim, including hidden accounts.

  • Demanding the victim to hand over each paycheck.

  • Forcing the victim to ask for money and only permitting an allowance.

  • Running up credit card debt and/or taking out loans in the victim’s name.

  • Preventing the victim from obtaining or keeping a job, especially through harassment at work and constant phone calls.