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Abuse Comes in Many Different Forms

Updated on February 6, 2017

Abuse is defined as an act of controlling the thinking and behavior of another person. Abuse is displaying power over another usually to get something from that person. Abuse can be narrowed down to mistreating another.

The Abused

When one thinks about an abused person, a woman comes to mind initially. Women are not the only ones abused especially when all the different types of abuse are considered. According to statistics, men make up 40 percent of all domestic violence victims.

That means one out of 14 men has been physically assaulted by a partner at least once in the relationship. Another study shows that 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner every year. This number is only based on those who report it. A lot of men are so ashamed that they never report the abuse imposed upon them. According to an American Medical Study, men are less likely to report the abuse.

Senior seniors are abused, whether male or female. Children are also abused.

The Abuser

The abuser is usually not a stranger. The abuser is a person who is trusted. In the case of older people being abused, the abuser is usually a relative or caregiver that the abused depends on for his well being.

As far as children are concerned, an abuser could be a babysitter, a day care provider, a teacher or even a parent.

Various Types of Abuse

Whenever the word abuse comes up, the first thing people think about is physical abuse or domestic violence. However, there are many forms of abuse. There are support groups and help for domestic violence, while people affected by the other forms of abuse often suffer in silence.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the use of physical force upon another that causes bodily injury, pain, or impairment.

Physical abuse is the type of abuse that gets the most attention because it leaves evidence. The evidence could show up in a swollen eye, a broken nose or a split lip. There is proof that some physical abuse has taken place.

Physical abuse can go on for years. It might start out with pushing, slapping, kicking, and throwing things at a person. Then it graduates to punching, shaking and choking. If physical abuse is not stopped in time, it could very well result in murder.

Serious Case of Mental Abuse

A husband taunted his wife to the point that she would have chosen physical abuse over what he did to her emotionally. He wrote derogatory notes to her. The husband criticized her and told her she was no good and he wished he hadn't married her and he would never love her. He put the notes in places where she would find them throughout the day.

After a serious argument, the woman found at least a dozen notes around the house. Some of them were in places where they could be clearly seen such as on the bathroom mirror and on the refrigerator door. She found another one in the silverware drawer when she went to set the dinner table.

The wife thought she had found all the notes, but when she went to bed that night she heard a rustling sound as soon as she laid her head on the pillow. There was a note inside the pillow case. This note was the worst of all. The husband lying in bed beside her had written, "Try to stay on your side of the bed. You don't deserve to touch me, and surely, I won't be touching you!"

Mental, emotional and psychological abuse had taken place without the man ever laying a hand on the woman or without him saying anything verbally.

Mental, Emotional, and Psychological Abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse is the act of using words, tone, action or lack of action to control, hurt or demean another.

Usually. emotional abuse involves ridicule, intimidation, and putting another person down.

No physical touching takes place in emotional abuse, but the abused person is still hurt.

Emotional or psychological abuse may result in anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse is simply the use of strong language to talk down to or intimidate someone or make fun of or hurt one’s feelings. This is doubly painful when done in front of others.

Verbal abuse is similar to emotional abuse because the results are the same. However, the methods are different in that only words are used when there is verbal abuse.

Words and other acts are present in emotional and psychological abuse.

Financial and Economic Abuse

Economic and financial abuse are linked together because both types of abuse involve the misuse of someone else's financial resources without the person's permission. These types of abuse are usually about the elderly when the caregiver handles the finances. The caregiver might skim on buying what the person needs just so money will be left over for him or her.

Since the caregiver is in charge of the person's money and property, it is easy for there to be a case of economic and financial abuse.

Identity Abuse

Identity abuse is associated with verbal abuse. While anything can be said to a person to verbally abuse him, identity abuse is limited to only character assassination. Identity abuse is when a husband keeps reminding his overweight wife how bad she looks. In an argument, a wife could remind her husband how he getting a bald head. Anytime a personal characteristic or flaw is used to demean, manipulate and control another, it is identity abuse.

Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual abuse is the last thing one would think to be on the list of abuses. However, one could have a hold on another person so forcibly that it affects the spiritual well-being of that person.

Spiritual abuse is using the victim’s spiritual beliefs to manipulate him. Unfortunately, spiritual abuse happens in the church when the pastor wants the congregation to do something. He says the Lord told him to tell them if they don't do something, he will not be blessed.

Types of Abuse


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