What Are the Different Types of Domestic Violence?

Intimate partner violence alone affects more than 12 million people every year. Many people believe that domestic violence is limited to only physical abuse, but that isn’t the case.

There are several types of domestic violence that you should be familiar with. You can learn more about it using this guide.

Let’s get started.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is what most people think of when they hear the words domestic violence. This is one of the easier forms of abuse to recognize because it is more difficult to disguise.

When an abuser is clearly intending to gain control over the victim by making them powerless through injury or threats, that’s considered physical abuse. There are many examples of this, including:

  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Slapping
  • Choking
  • Biting
  • Scratching
  • Using household objects as weapons
  • Forced physical restrain against the victims will
  • Being trapped in a room and having the exit blocked
  • Withholding physical needs like sleeping or food

The injuries don’t need to be severe for it to domestic violence. Even if the abuser slaps the victim a handful of times and doesn’t end up in the hospital, it is still considered physical abuse.

The abuser also doesn’t need to touch the victim physically. If they are hitting or kicking doors or walls, inanimate objects, and destroying property, this is a form of abuse as well.

Different forms of domestic violence are all frightening in their own way, but this one is particularly dangerous because it can result in death. Getting out of an abusive relationship is particularly difficult, but if you can do so, then the next step is a restraining order.

Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse involves instilling fear in an intimate partner through threatening behavior. This can cross over with physical abuse when an abuser is destroying property, but it can also involve other examples of harm. This type of behavior must be significant and steadfast for it to be considered psychological abuse.

If it is a one-time event, it’s likely not enough to take legal action.

Preventing the victim from talking to people or leaving the house, threatening the victim with violence, or even emotional blackmail all fall under the umbrella of psychological abuse. The goal of the abuser is to isolate and intimidate the victim by instilling fear in them.

There’s also spiritual abuse, which involves using religious beliefs to manipulate an intimate partner. This may involve using scripture to warrant abuse or raising children in the faith that the partner did not agree to.

Financial Abuse

If physical abuse is the most obvious to see, financial abuse might be the least. Financial abuse is a way to gain control and power over the other person in a relationship.

99% of almost all domestic violence cases involve financial abuse. It’s also the first red flag for dating violence, so it’s important to know how to recognize it. It’s particularly easy for financial abuse to occur because many families have placed their money in joint accounts.

The goal is often to make the victim completely dependent on their partner for money; this forces them to be at the abuser’s mercy. The abuser is likely to withhold money used for clothing and food, and it might extend to their children.

Sexual Abuse

Another well-known type of domestic violence is sexual abuse. This includes sexual assault, rape, harassment, demeaning behavior, and unwelcome touching as well. People tend to think of sexual abuse as predominantly nonconsensual sex, but it goes further than that.

Any action that violates the individual’s bodily integrity is considered sexual abuse. For example, if a partner coerces the other into not using contraception or getting an abortion, that is considered sexual abuse.

About 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience sexual violence involving physical touch in their lifetime. Not only does sexual abuse often begin at a young age, but there are dire consequences for it. The victims face physical injuries, but there’s also psychological stress, like anxiety or suicidal thoughts.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse involves tearing down the victim’s confidence and self-worth. This involves the abuser using constant insults, criticisms, and humiliation to gain control over their victim. Emotional abuse is insidious because it is so common in unhealthy relationships that people don’t pay too much attention.

Most states don’t consider emotional abuse to be enough to bring a domestic violence action. The abuse has to be significant enough that the relationship can be considered coercive. Usually, emotional abuse needs additional evidence of other abuse to have a case.

Emotional abuse can involve any of the following:

  • Yelling
  • Insulting
  • Swearing
  • Rejecting opinions, thoughts, or ideas
  • Making the victim doubt their feelings and sanity
  • Manipulating the truth

All kinds of domestic violence can destroy a person’s sense of self. Emotional abuse may not leave a physical mark, but it can cause a lot of damage. In fact, the consequences of emotional abuse can be as severe as those from physical abuse.

As the constant name-calling, criticisms, and gaslighting continues, the victim can no longer see things clearly. This can cause the victim to start depending on their abuser because they start viewing themselves as less. It’s a vicious abusive cycle that is difficult to stop.

Different Types of Domestic Violence

Being a victim of abuse is a terrible situation to be in, and that’s why it’s important to educate yourself on the different types of domestic violence. Not only will this help you navigate a situation that you may be involved in, but you’ll be able to notice if anything is off with loved ones.

There might also be a chance that you or someone you know was charged with domestic violence; knowing what it entails allows you to look for more resources if a trial is involved.

Have you or a loved one recently been arrested and need assistance with bail? Be sure to contact us for a free consultation with a licensed bail agent.