Updated 12 August 2013

The different types of domestic violence

This article explains the different types of domestic violence and steps on how to get out.


Physical abuse includes:

  • slapping, punching, hitting, kicking, shoving, scratching, biting, throwing things at you
  • threatening or attacking you with a weapon
  • locking you in or out of the house or abandoning you in a dangerous place
  • refusing to help you when you are injured, sick or pregnant

Emotional abuse includes:

  • insulting you
  • ignoring you
  • making you feel stupid or worthless
  • ridiculing or laughing at your beliefs
  • humiliating you in private or in public
  • being overly jealous or possessive
  • intimidating or harassing you
  • accusing you of infidelity without good reason
  • isolating you from your friends and family
  • preventing you from going to work
  • attacking your children or your pets
  • threatening to kill you or to leave you or to throw you out
  • threatening to kill himself, or go mad if you leave, or don’t do what he wants

Verbal abuse includes:

  • swearing at you, calling you names and talking to you as though you were a child, or as though he owns you

Sexual abuse includes:

  • making you do sexual things or wear clothes that make you uncomfortable
  • pressuring or forcing you to perform sexual acts that you do not want to do
  • forcing you to have sex when you do not want to; raping you or threatening to rape you 
  • forcing you to have sex with other people

Financial abuse includes:

  • taking or spending your money, taking or destroying your possessions
  • spending most of the money on himself or giving you a very small allowance
  • expecting you to account for every cent or do more with the money than is possible
  • refusing to give you information about your joint financial situation
  • delaying or refusing to pay maintenance if you are no longer together

Read more:
Domestic scars tell stories
6 tactics used to control women
The Domestic Violence Act
Seeking help - the numbers to call


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