Domestic abuse or domestic violence refers to the pattern of behavior that people use to maintain or gain control and power over their intimate partners. It can come in other forms like psychological, economic, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. It may also be in the form of threats that influence another person.
Threats may include traits that wound, injure, blame, humiliate, hurt, manipulate, terrorize, intimidate, or frighten someone. Anyone can suffer from domestic abuse, regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, and race. Domestic abuse can affect people of all education levels and socioeconomic backgrounds.
8 Kinds of Domestic Abuse
The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women defines domestic abuse as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that people maintain or gain control over their intimate partners. It can come in different forms, including:
Physical abuse can include pinching, cutting, burning, pulling hair, punching, shoving, battering, slapping, biting, hitting, and other kinds of violent behavior one inflicts on its victim. It can also include forcing someone to take drugs or alcohol and denying them medical treatment. Talk to a family law attorney, such as Toby Landau, for more details.
Sexual abuse happens when someone forces their victims into having sexual contact or sexual intercourse without their consent. It often comes in the form of telling sexual jokes at the victim’s expense, sexually demeaning a person or physical abuse followed by forcing sex. It may also include attacking sexual body parts and marital rape.
Emotional abuse includes deflating or invalidating a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-worth. It can also involve interfering with the victim’s abilities, injuring their relationship with their children, name-calling, or constant criticism.
Economic abuse happens when someone attempts to make or decide to make the victim financially dependent. Most abusers prohibit a person from going to work or school, while others withhold their victim’s access to money. Others would also want to control the victim’s financial resources completely.
Psychological abuse happens when someone invokes fear through intimidation. It can also occur when the abuse prohibits the victim from going to work and school, isolating them from the people they love. Injuring someone’s pet or damaging their victim’s property is also another sign of psychological abuse. Threatening to hurt the victim’s friends, family, or children is another sign you should look out for.
Stalking can include appearing at a person’s workplace or home, leaving written notes, or making phone calls. Gathering information, sending gifts, showing up at the victim’s workplace or home are other common signs you should be aware of. It may not cause harm but harassing, watching, spying, or following the victim is another sign.
Cyberstalking is a modern form of stalking. It refers to repeated emailing and online actions that cause significant emotional distress to the victim.
Victims of Domestic Violence
Victims can include anyone, regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, and race. Wife abuse was the previous label of domestic violence. However, the law had forgotten this term when they changed the definition. It was changed to prove that wives aren’t the only victims of these actions. Victims can include:
- Family members
- Intimate, dating, or sexual partners
Most people think that victims can only file for a protective order against their spouses or partners. That’s not the case at all. Most regions allow victims of abusive cohabitant partners to obtain a temporary restraining order. Victims of abusive non-cohabiting partners, roommates, or adult relatives can get an emergency protective order in other regions. Each region has its regulations, so make sure to talk to a family law attorney.
Is Dating Violence One Form of Abuse?
Dating violence is another kind of violence. Individuals in intimate, romantic, and social relationships tend to commit dating violence. It can happen once you’ve fallen deeply in love or on a first date. Dating violence can also come in different ways. It may be emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or a combination of those.
Understanding the definition of domestic violence helps you take the appropriate actions against any signs of abuse. Most abusers may not even realize that they’re inflicting fear and pain on their victims. On the contrary, victims may not take any action against their abusers if they don’t see that the behavior is domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a life-altering crime that causes life-long damage to the victims. You’ll also be in a better place to help if you know the signs of domestic abuse. Hence, it would help if you learned more about its definition and the different forms it can take.