Identifying Types of Abuse

by: Khalid Iqbal Founder Rahmaa Institute

The list below is used in our 18 week Domestic Violence Prevention and Anger Management course for the participants to clearly understand different types of abuse that commonly occur. for more information or to register for the course please contact us at

1. Physical Abuse
Standing over you, getting “in your face,” blocking a doorway, grabbing you if you try to leave, kicking, punching, biting, slapping, choking, threatening to harm you, using weapons, throwing things, breaking things, punching walls or doors, driving recklessly, burning, cutting, pulling hair, stabbing, strangling, tying or confining you, preventing you from seeking medical care, murder.

2. Emotional Abuse
Insults, put downs, intimidating you, embarrassing you in public, talking down to you, not listening to or respecting your feelings, making threats, telling you you’re not “GLBTQ,” “man,” or “strong” enough, being jealous, possessive, controlling; excessive or threatening texts, wanting access to your messages, email, FaceBook/MySpace, spying, checking up on you, accusations of cheating, making you feel like you need to justify yourself, giving you no privacy, shaming you for your sexual orientation.

3. Verbal Abuse
Yelling, shouting, swearing, continuously arguing, interrupting, talking over you, put downs, using loud and threatening language and tone to cause fear, name calling, intimidating you, mocking you, abusive language.

4. Economic Abuse
Withholding money, opening up a joint account but you don’t have access, forcing you to leave your job, forcing you to get fired, shaming you for how you spend your money, not allowing you to work or get an education, putting all the bills/credit cards in your name, preventing you from using a car.

5. Mental Abuse
Playing mind games with you, twisting everything around so nothing is their fault and all of their behavior was caused by something you did or didn’t do, accusing you of doing things that they are doing, lying, manipulating you for control or sex, threatening to “out” you to parents, friends, classmates, distorting reality so you think you are losing your mind.

6. Sexual Abuse
Rape, unwanted sexual touching, vulgar comments, pressure for sex, forcing you to have unprotected sex, forcing you to get pregnant or to have an abortion, sexting, forcing you to have sex with other people or to watch your partner have sex with someone else, forcing you to use or participate in pornography. Videotaping sexual acts to share with friends or strangers without your consent. Please read this article on our website

7. Neglect
Neglect occurs when a person fails to provide for the basic needs of one or more dependent victims he or she is responsible for. Basic needs include adequate and appropriate food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and love or care. The idea of neglect presupposes that the neglectful person is capable of being responsible in the first place

8. Abuse by Immigration Status
There are specific tactics of abuse that some abusers use against their immigrant partner.
These tactics include: holding or destroying immigration papers, not letting partner learn English, threatening to hurt partner’s family in home country, threatening to call immigration authorities, etc.
It is important to remember that in the US, even undocumented immigrants have rights, and that, in case of an emergency, contacting the police should be a priority

9. Honor abuse that may lead to honor Killings
Honor” crime involves violence, including murder, committed by people who want to defend the reputation of their family or community. Often this lead to isolation or imprisonment in their own home.
Honor killing is the murder of a person accused of bringing shame upon his or her family.
It happens worldwide, from South America to Asia.

10. Gender discrimination and abuse
The Council of Europe defines violence against women as ‘all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.’
It constitutes a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity, equality between women and men, non-discrimination and physical and mental integrity. Gender-based violence reflects and reinforces inequalities between men and women.

11. Ethnic and color discrimination and abuse
It is very unfortunate that ethic and color discrimination is prevalent in the society we live in. Recent incidents with the American law enforcement against the people of color is one example. American jails are filled with disproportionate number of people of color as compared to Caucasians. We have a number of cases with complaints from inter-racial marriages

Parents often are guilty of discriminating against the child that may have a darker complexion especially girls. This is also true when parents are selecting a bride for their son.

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