What is Domestic Violence?

Definitions of Abuse:

Physical Abuse: Is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or near your body.  The violence may consist of a slap, kick, punch, scratch, strangle, pulling your hair, grabbing your clothing, threatening with weapons, or worse.

Emotional Abuse: This type of abuse may consist of isolating the victim from his/her resources and sources of encouragement. The victim may be physically isolated by being locked in his/her home without a telephone, or source of transportation. The abuser may refuse to show any type of love or affection thereby, gaining more power in the relationship. The victim may not be able to perform at work or at home to the great amount of stress he/she experienced as a result of the fear and anxiety he/she feels.

Sexual Abuse: It is any non-consensual contact that can happen to both men and women of any age.  Derogatory name calling, refusal to use contraception, forced sex, deliberately causing unwanted physical pain during sex, and passing on sexual diseases or infections using toys, objects, or other items are all form of sexual abuse.

Verbal Abuse: Is use of words to attack an individual such as; name-calling and blaming.  It causes one to believe an untrue statement, or to speak falsely of an individual.  It constitutes psychological violence.  Some classic verbally abusive statements are; “You’re crazy!” “You’re stupid!” “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”  Verbal abuse is damaging to the spirit and can lower a victim’s self esteem

This includes criticism, name-calling and blaming. The victim’s self esteem is lowered because he/she may believe what is said over a period of time. Cursing and sexual innuendos may also be included in this category.

Psychological/Mental Abuse: This includes any abusive behavior that uses emotions to intimidate the victim, such as threatening the victim or stalking the victim.


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