Types of Abuse

Types of Abuse

This aim of this post is to make people aware of the different types of abuse. When we are in relationships we may be blind to what is, what this means is that we may be unaware of what abusive dynamics could be happening consciously or unconsciously. Overall there are eight main types of abuse, abuse is defined as something of bad effect, or bad purpose, a misuse, and in this context it is the cruel or violent treatment of a person. Below is a description of the eight main type of abuse:

Verbal Abuse:

This is often a important feature in emotionally abusive relationship. This is when the abuser makes statements that negatively label the victim. Some examples of verbal abuse include: Yelling, humiliation, name calling, swearing and constant criticism etc.

Emotional abuse:

This is when the abuser attempts to put down your feelings of self- with and independence- often in order to gain control.  Physically abusing relationships often have emotional abusive aspects to them as well.  Some signs of emotionally abusive relationships would be insulting, treating violence or suicide, blaming, purposeful embarrassment, swearing and yelling etc.

Physical abuse:

Often happens when someone uses physical force against another person. It can start slow and inconspicuous and eventually get worse over time. Some examples of physical abuse include: hitting, kicking, spitting, biting, destruction property, abuse of children/pets/loved ones, sleep and food deprivation and physical restraint etc.

Sexual abuse:

This is any form of unwanted sexual activity. The abuser may use violence or threaten in order to make the victim do these unwanted sexual activities. Some examples of sexual abuse are things such as rape, forces sexual acts, unwanted touching, sexual jokes etc.

Financial abuse:

This is when someone takes control over another persons money or controls how they spend it. It can be subtle-such as gradually taking control over bank accounts and financial transactions- or it can be obvious, threatening and violent- such as forbidding someone from working, spending their wages, taking control of assets etc.

Social abuse:

This is when the abuser prevents the victim from spending time with family and friends. Through isolating the victim, it is less likely they are able to receive help/support. Some signs of a socially abusive relationship include: constantly monitoring phone calls, deciding who the victim can talk to, not allowing the victim to meet up with anyone, etc.

Spiritual abuse:

This is when the abuser denies or uses someone’s spiritual beliefs and practices to dominate the victim. Some examples of spiritual abuse include prevention of relies practices, misuse of spiritual beliefs to justify wrong behaviour, forcing some to act against their spiritual beliefs,  etc.

Stalking abuse:

This occurs when the abuser intentionally and persistently follows someone against their will. This often done to control, intimidate, create fear to a sense of danger. Some examples of this include: repeated calls/texts, loitering outside home, leaving notes in persons car, monitoring how the victim uses technology etc.


The most important issue here is to go with your gut and instinct if something does not feel right, see if any of the above relates to some of your experiences in relationships, this can be with romantic partner, friends or even family members. Try seek some help and professional support, what this can do is help you with strategies to manage these relationships of help with finding an exit.

If you believe that you, or someone that you know is being abused, please get the help. If in immediate risk or danger, aim to leave the situation and call your countries emergency services.


By Dr Farah Nadeem



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