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What is Abuse?

Domestic abuse is a form of violence that encompasses more than just physical violence. It is one of society's best kept secrets. The most common victims are women and children but men can also be victims of abuse. Physical injury is a serious form of domestic abuse, however, emotional, verbal, sexual, and financial abuse can cause just as much harm. Examples would be: degrading, name calling, destroying personal property, forced sexual acts, or financial and emotional control through fear and isolation.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is intentionally causing any bodily harm or pain to another. Physical violence is a crime and it is punishable by law. Physical violence includes: hitting, punching, pushing, kicking, restraining/holding, biting, choking, threatening with weapons, hair pulling, grabbing, destroying property, slapping, threatening with fist, throwing things at you, scratching, reckless driving, poking, taking car keys, banging against wall.

Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse is intentional use of verbal attacks to cause pain to another. This includes: name calling, swearing, yelling, degrading comments, mimicking, threatening to take children away, putting-down, lying/deceitfulness, brainwashing, sarcasm, outright cruelty, blaming, using information you have revealed against you, demanding, guilt-producing statements, "you are not okay" statements, threatening tone of voice, irrational questioning, interrogating, twisting your words, calling you crazy.

Economic Abuse

Economic abuse is intentionally denying another the opportunity to earn or keep money. This includes: taking money, withholding money, food or resources, destroying property, preventing someone from getting or keeping a job.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is intentionally touching (for the purpose of personal sexual gratification or the degradation and humiliation of another) the intimate parts of any person. This includes: forcing sex, withholding sex, rude stories/gestures, double standards, using sex as a weapon, talking dirty, punishment for not complying, making sexual threats with objects, laughing at you, shaming, intimidating you to do unwanted acts, sex as a form of control, sexualizing in public, rape, possessiveness, mocking of body parts, accusations, sex for favors.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is intentional infliction of emotional pain or fear upon another. This includes: double standards, crazy-making behaviors, isolation from family/friends, silent treatment, accusations, twisting things, telling you how you feel and think, "his/her" agenda, avoiding issues, tension in the home, immature behavior, sabotaging, bringing up the past, playing mind games, withholding money, inequity in partnership, harming pets, questioning paternity, selective memory, controlling the money, stalking, harassing, degrading in public, not okay to be sick, intimidating, discounting behaviors, threatening suicide, empty promises, guilty gift giving.