Abuse is a pattern of physical, sexual, economic and/or psychological violence used to get control and maintain control over an intimate partner. It is important to know that you do not deserve to be abused, nor are you responsible for the abuse. Below are some examples of types of abuse that are common.

Physical Abuse

  • Pushing, hitting, choking, kicking, biting, cutting, burning, spitting
  • Holding you down or preventing you from leaving the room
  • Throwing objects at you
  • Threatening you with a weapon
  • Locking you in or out of the house
  • Abandoning you in dangerous places
  • Preventing you from getting sleep or waking you up out of sleep
  • Refusing help when you are sick, injured or pregnant
  • Endangering you by driving wildly or recklessly

Psychological Abuse

  • Ignoring your feelings
  • Making fun of your beliefs
  • Threatening to take your children
  • Manipulating you with lies
  • Degrading women as a group
  • Calling you names like bitch, slut, whore, or cunt
  • Telling you that you're stupid, dumb, fat, or ugly
  • Refusing to take you places
  • Isolating you from your friends and family
  • Constantly criticizing you and the way you do things
  • Making fun of your friends and family
  • Taking away your car keys or money
  • Threatening to leave you or making you leave
  • Threatening to hurt your family
  • Hurting your children when he was angry at you
  • Hurting your pets to get at you
  • Threatening to take your children if you leave

Economic Abuse

  • Refusing to give you money for food or clothing
  • Making you ask for money
  • Forcing you to hand over money that you earn
  • Making you spend all your own money while he doesn't spend his
  • Refusing to support your children
  • Not letting you have access to a checking account
  • Not letting you be involved in making decisions about money

Sexual Abuse

  • Treating you as a sex object
  • Assuming that you will have sex with any man
  • Criticizing the way you act during sex
  • Withholding sex and affection
  • Forcing you to have sex when you do not want to
  • Forcing you to have sex with other people
  • Forcing you to have sex after an argument or beating
  • Forcing you to have sex when you are pregnant or sick
  • Refusing to pay bills or take care of other basic needs until you have sex with him
  • Calling you a "whore" after sex
  • Insisting on unwanted or uncomfortable touching
  • Forcing you to have sex then telling you that you "wanted it"
  • Accusing you of having sex with other women
  • Telling and bragging about sex with other women
  • Checking your clothing for signs that you have had sex with someone
  • Assuming that you have to have sex with him because you are "his woman"

by Patti Freeman

Executive Director

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