When most of us think about abuse, we often see images of a battered and exhausted individual with no joy in their eyes. It’s a sad and gut wrenching image for sure, but many times the faces of the abused look just like any other face you might find in your daily life. In fact, there are many different types of abuse, and they can happen anytime and anywhere.
1. Sexual Abuse
This type of abuse can have far reaching effects on both the victim and the victimizer. If you’ve been in this predicament, then you know how helpful it is to have a sexual crimes legal adviser on your side. Sexual abuse can be both physical and emotional. Beyond forced sex acts, there may be an element of using sex as a way to manipulate, evaluate or devalue a partner.
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2. Mental Abuse
Mental abuse doesn’t always come with visible scars. When someone is mentally or psychologically abused they are often led to believe that there is something wrong with them and that they cannot trust their own judgment or recollection. Mental abusers will deny situations, move things purposely, isolate victims and create oppressive and dark environments. These types of tactics wear away at the mental health of their victims.
3. Child Abuse
This form of domestic violence is aimed at children, and it includes any mistreatment whether it be verbal, physical, sexual or mental. Because children are among a very vulnerable population, it is easy for caregivers or parents to take advantage of them. Children with disabilities are at higher risk.
4. Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is often combined with another type of abuse. Physical abuse can include punching, slapping, kicking, choking and physically restraining a partner. When someone feels physically unsafe due to the actions of a partner, there is likely some abuse within the relationship. When left unchecked, this type of abuse usually escalates and may ultimately lead to the victim or abuser’s death.
5. Financial Abuse
When a partner takes control of the budgeting and financial planning at the exclusion of the other partner, financial abuse is why. Many times the abuser will keep the victim from keeping gainful employment, open accounts in their name and restrict their access to bank accounts and money. This makes it very difficult for survivors of this type of abuse to become self-sufficient, as their credit and finances are usually in disrepair due to the abuse.
6. Verbal Abuse
“Sticks and stones…” is not an entirely true sentiment. Words can cut like a sharp knife and change the way we think about ourselves and how we interact with others. Verbal abuse is difficult to prove and often difficult to see. There is a lot of emotional damage that comes with verbal abuse that doesn’t heal as readily as a black eye.
It is true that most abuse is centered around power and control. But we can all empower ourselves against abusers by educating ourselves and standing up for those who need our support. If you think you may be abusive, you can seek treatment and become an advocate.