Abuse is not only just physical…..it is purposeful manipulative and controlling behavior that one partner perpetrates on the other in an attempt to gain or maintain control over him or her. Just because you can’t see some of the “bruises” from some of the other types of abuse, doesn’t make them any less real…or painful. Emotional and psychological/mental abuse leave bruises are on the inside, on the soul, spirit and self-esteem and often last as long or longer than the physical ones.
Physical abuse: any type of physical behavior used with the intention of controlling behavior (i.e. pushing, slapping, shoving, stabbing, pulling hair etc…)
Emotional abuse: attack on a person’s self-esteem/emotions (i.e. calling his or her partner stupid, fat, ugly, worthless, etc….)
Mental/psychological abuse: Using fear and intimidation to get what he or she wants/Playing head games (i.e. “If you leave me, I will take the children…harm you…kill you. driving too fast to frighten or intimate his or her partner, etc.)
Sexual abuse: Any type of sexual activity that is forced/not consensual. (i.e. forcing a partner to dress sexier than he or she is comfortable, forcing/tricking partner into pregnancy, withholding sex as a means of punishing a partner or exerting control, etc….)
Destruction of property or pets: (i.e. breaking things, punching holes in the wall, kicking the dog or cat)
Environmental abuse: (i.e. isolation, sabotage victims support system, not allowing or sabotaging partners employment) Regardless of the type of abuse used by the abusive partner, the catalyst for the abusive behavior is for the batterer to gain or maintain control over his or her partner/victim.