Physical abuse is often the most recognizable form of domestic violence, but it’s not the form experienced most often by survivors. While abusers will most likely use non-physical methods of control, threats of physical violence may be one of them.
- Hitting, punching, slapping, pushing, grabbing, etc.
- Choking, strangling or impeding your breathing in anyway
- Throwing objects at you or breaking them to intimidate you
- Disrupting your sleep patterns to make you feel exhausted
- Hurting or threatening to hurt your children and/or pets
Emotional & Psychological Abuse includes both verbal and non-verbal behaviors intended to control the survivor and negatively impact their well-being.
- Name-calling, mocking, put-downs, or making humiliating remarks, particularly in front of others
- Controlling your daily activities including where you can and cannot go
- Stalking behaviors, such as following or monitoring you, constantly checking up on you and demanding to know where you are, sending unwanted gifts
- Being overly jealous and/or isolating your from family and friends
- Gaslighting you, minimizing your opinion, and shifting responsibility for their behaviors
Money is often a tool that abusers use to establish absolute control in their relationships, making the survivor solely dependent on them to live.
In fact, 98% of abusive relationships include some form of financial abuse.
- Forbidding you from working or going to school or sabotaging either (e.g., giving you a visible injury, denying you access to a car, calling you constantly at work, destroying your homework, etc.)
- Forcing you to turn over your paycheck
- Controlling all money, bank accounts, and assets and giving you an “allowance”
- Hiding assets or money from you
- Running up debt in your name or opening credit accounts in your name without your knowledge
Sexual abuse is any sexual encounter that happens without your consent. Having an ongoing relationship and/or having consented to past sexual activity does not indicate current consent.
Sexual abuse can be both verbal and physical.
- Forcing or coercing you to participate in any sexual acitivity in which you do not want to participate
- Exploiting you when you are unable to consent to sexual activity
- Unwanted touching of any kind
- Taking or sharing any type of sexually explicit media without your consent
- Denying you contraception or protection against sexually transmitted diseases
Abusers often use the court in an effort to continue to control and abuse the survivor even after the relationship has ended.
Many survivors report being drawn into prolonged, contentious, and extremely expensive court proceedings related to divorce and child custody wherein the abuser is using the judicial system to control, harass, threaten and manipulate the survivor and the survivor’s legal position.
- Filing repeated motions with the same or similar content even after they’ve been denied
- Requesting unnecessary adjournments or postponements
- Appealing orders without a legal basis
- Filing frivolous motions or motions having no legal basis