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types of abuse - Free

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The main categories of abuse
Physical abuse
Examples include: Slapping, pushing, kicking, rough handling, twisting of limbs/ extremities, misuse of medication, or inappropriate sanctions or restraint.

Sexual abuse
Examples include: Rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, could not consent or was pressured into consenting. Non-contact abuse such as voyeurism, involvement in pornography.

Psychological / Emotional abuse
Examples include: verbal assault or intimidation, emotional abuse, deprivation of contact verbal abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, humiliation or blaming, overriding of consent, choices or wishes, felling worthless, frightened or unloved.
NB: Psychological/emotional abuse will usually occur in conjunction with other forms of abuse.

Financial abuse
Examples include: theft, fraud, exploitation, and pressure in connections with wills, property, possessions or benefits.

Neglect and acts of omission
Examples include: ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

Discriminatory abuse
This abuse is usually motivated by discriminatory and oppressive attitudes towards race gender, culture background, religion physical and/ or sensory impairment, sexual orientation and age.

Institutional abuse, neglect and poor practice
This may take the form of isolated incidents of poor or unsatisfactory professional practice at one end of the spectrum, through to persuasive ill treatment or gross misconduct.

Self neglect
Has been recognised within the Care Act 2014 as part of the safeguarding framework.

The ten types of abuse

There are many different types of abuse and they all result in behaviour towards a person that deliberately or intentionally cause harm.

It is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights and in the worst cases can result in death.
The ten types of abuse

Use the links below to navigate to the required area of the website where the types of abuse are detailed:
Financial or material
Neglect and acts of omission
Modern slavery

Types of Domestic Abuse

Abusers or perpetrators use a wide variety of abusive tactics. There are five general categories of abusive tactics:

Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Emotional Abuse
Financial Abuse
Identity Abuse
The categories of abuse are defined below and examples of each are given. The categories are not exclusive. Some abusive tactics may fit into more than one category. A threat of physical harm, for example, could be seen as emotional abuse and as physical abuse. The categories are just a handy way to think about abuse.

Physical Abuse
Physical violence is partner abuse when it is intended to enhance the power and control of the abuser over the partner. If the partner is fearful of the abuser, if the partner modifies his behavior in response to the assault or potential assault, or if the partner intentionally maintains a particular routine of behaviors in an effort to avoid violence – despite his preference not to do so – then this is partner abuse.

Physical abuse can be defined as the threat of harm or any forceful physical behavior that intentionally or accidentally causes bodily harm or property destruction, including the following:

Hitting, beating, choking, pushing, slapping, kicking, pulling hair, biting, punching, backhanding, arm twisting, shoving, kicking or burning
Holding the partner down or preventing the partner from leaving
Throwing and/or threatening with objects
Locking the partner out of the home
Refusal to get the partner help or medical attention
Forced use of substances (e.g. alcohol and drugs
Depriving the partner of medication
Denying or interfering with the partner meeting his basic physical needs (e.g. eating and sleeping)
Smashing, damaging, stealing or selling the partner’s possessions
Threatening to use or the use of a weapon against the partner (e.g. hammer, knife, gun, etc.)
Driving recklessly
Punching walls or doors
Physical abuse also can be used against children and pets, as well as the partner’s friends and family.

Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is any forced or coerced sexual act or behavior motivated to acquire power and control over the partner. It is not only forced sexual contact but also contact that demeans or humiliates the partner and instigates feelings of shame or vulnerability – particularly in regards to the body, sexual performance or sexuality.

Common examples are:

Unwanted touching
Demeaning remarks about the partner’s body or appearance
Minimization of the partner’s sexual needs
Berating the partner about his sexual history
Demeaning remarks about the partner being too femme or butch
Forcing sex or sexual actions on the partner without consent
Using force or roughness that is not consensual, including forced sex (rape)
Rape with an object
Refusing to comply with the partner’s request for safe sex
Coercing the partner into sex with others
Purposefully and repeatedly crossing the partner’s sexual boundaries
Violating an agreement for monogamy by having sex with others
Exposing the partner to sexually transmitted diseases
Treating the partner as a sex object
Criticizing sexual performance or desirability
Withholding sex as a punishment
Unwanted sadistic sexual acts
Some forms of sexual abuse are crimes.

Emotional/Psychological Abuse
Emotional abuse is any use of words, voice, action or lack of action meant to control, hurt or demean another person. Emotional abuse typically includes ridicule, intimidation or coercion. Verbal abuse usually is included in this category. This type of abuse is more difficult to define and to identify than physical abuse. At some time in their relationship almost all couples say or even shout things they later regret. Emotional abuse, however, is repeated hurtful exchanges with disregard for the partner’s feelings aimed at gaining power and/or exerting control over the partner. For example, telling the partner over and over again that “no one else would have you” or repeatedly calling the partner “stupid” or “worthless”.

Emotional abuse is present in almost all relationships where physical abuse occurs, and it can have serious and long-term consequences for the partner – eroding self-esteem and confidence, as well as instilling feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

Behaviors include:

Verbal threats
Demeaning the partner in front of friends, family or strangers
Name-calling and use of abusive language
Constant criticism or humiliation
Disproportionate anger or yelling to intimidate
Irrational blaming of the partner
Withholding affection, approval or appreciation as a punishment
Obsessive jealousy and accusations of unfaithfulness
Instilling in the partner the belief that “nothing he does will ever be good enough”
Use of intimate knowledge (e.g. the partner has herpes) to generate vulnerability
Abusing or threatening to abuse the partner’s children is included here when the intent is to emotionally harm the partner through the children
Abusing or threatening to abuse pets is included here, again when the intent is to emotionally harm the partner through the pets
Being irresponsible with money
Using insults, sarcasm or sneering
Laughing at the partner
The abuser harming or threatening to harm himself/herself
A special form of emotional abuse is called “crazy making”; examples of this technique are:
Lying in order to confuse
Blaming the partner for the abuse
Telling tales and false stories or playing mind games
Telling the partner he doesn’t know what he is talking about
Manipulating the partner with words, ideas or lies
Denying that statements or promises were made or that behaviors occurred, and telling the partner it’s all in his mind
A frequent condition of abuse is seeking to socially isolate the partner. The abuser cuts off their partner from contact with other people, such as family, friends and children, by creating a social deprivation that leads the partner to be more reliant, or dependent, on the abuser. Social isolation also prevents the partner from seeking support from others or successfully leaving the relationship. Behaviors commonly used to impose social isolation include:

Blaming the partner’s friends or family for the couple’s “relationship” problems
Monitoring phone calls, mail or visits
Demanding an account of the partner’s daily activities
Insulting, threatening or assaulting the partner’s friends or family; driving them away
Forcing the partner to choose between the relationship and loved ones
Creating public scenes or disturbances when the partner is out with others
Stalking the partner and other forms of surveillance
Financial Abuse
Financial abuse is the use or misuse, without the partner’s freely given consent, of the financial or other monetary resources of the partner or of the partnership.

Common examples of financial abuse include:

Forbidding the partner to work
Jeopardizing the partner’s employment by such tactics as excessive calls to work; creating conflict with co-workers, supervisor or clients; creating scenes with co-workers; forcing the partner to miss work through threats, injuries or coerced substance use
Refusing to work, yet contributing to expenses
Controlling shared resources, including bank accounts and common property
Demanding the partner sign over paychecks or denying access to liquid assets, like mutual funds
Demanding the partner account for all the money he spends
Coercing the partner to pay for all expenses, including rent, food and utilities
Stealing the partner’s property, such as valuables or assets
Destroying or threatening to destroy the partner’s property as a means of affecting his financial situation
Using the partner’s identity to charge expenditures to partner
Taking credit cards, money or checkbook
Forging the partner’s signature on financial documents
Identity Abuse
Identity abuse is using personal characteristics to demean, manipulate and control the partner. Some of these tactics overlap with other forms of abuse, particularly emotional abuse. This category is comprised of the social “isms”, including racism, sexism, ageism, able-ism, beauty-ism, as well as homophobia

Examples are:

Outing or threatening to out the partner to such people as family, boss, or neighbors
Using the partner’s own homophobia to demean him or make him fearful
Asserting that the partner will never have another relationship because he is too ugly or too old
Blaming the abuse on the partner’s identity (gay, bisexuality, transgender) or behavior (non-monogamy, wish to practice or not practice S&M, etc.) or justifying the abuse based on any of these factors.
Using racial epithets and negative stereotypes
Exploiting the partner’s internalized racism
Accusing the partner of being racist
Ridiculing the partner’s physical challenges or exploiting them
Ridiculing the partner’s gender identity: appearance, dress, voice quality, grooming, etc.
Threatening to ‘out’ partner as Transgender

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