Abuse is not just physical

When people think of abuse, they typically picture physical violence. And yet, any form of abuse will cause lasting effects. Abuse is based on trying to control or have power over a dating partner. This includes causing fear, intimidating, or speaking in an aggressive tone of voice. Here are some of the main types of abuse.

+ Verbal / Emotional

Using words, tone of voice, and/or body to intimidate, criticize, humiliate, or abuse a partner.

This may look like:

  • Name calling or putdowns
  • Yelling and screaming
  • Intentional embarrassment in public or with friends
  • Being put down for what you wear or look like
  • Critiquing your physical appearance, body, clothing, etc.
  • Spreading rumors about you
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Making you feel guilty, insecure, shameful, or immature if you don't consent to sexual activity

Is emotional abuse really that serious?

Emotional abuse can leave long-lasting damage. Constant putdowns can convince someone that they are worthless or stupid. Soon, their self-esteem drops, and they may even blame themselves for their partner's abuse.

Please remember, emotional abuse is never the victims fault! A dating partner that attempts to gain power and control does so hoping their partner will stay in the relationship.

If you think you're experiencing verbal or emotional abuse, reach out to someone you trust and consider making a safety plan. Remember, you can always reach out on instagram or talk to an advocate.

+ Mental

Any abuse that causes psychological stress, such as being isolated from friends / family, playing mind games, or mental manipulation.

This can include:

  • Being cut off or disconnected from friends, family, or activities
  • Controlling what a partner does, who they see, or who they talk to
  • Limiting partner's outside activities
  • Threatening to:
    • Commit murder / suicide (e.g."If you leave me, I'll kill you or myself")
    • Harm others
    • Expose or "out" dating partner
    • Reveal immigration status
  • Mind games / manipulation / gas-lighting
  • Denying, minimizing, or blaming partner for the abuse

+ Cyber/Digital

Anything that uses technology to abuse

This can include:

  • Constantly checking up on partner through text, Facetime, calls
  • Making partner share location and then tracking them
  • Controlling who partner follows on social media
  • Controlling who partner texts, calls, or contacts saved in phone
  • Posting photos or information online without partner's consent
  • Being forced to send or recieve nudes or other explicit material
  • Being forced or manipulated into sharing passwords

+ Sexual

Anything done sexually that is unwanted.

  • Rape
  • Being forced to show affection (i.e. holding hands in public)
  • Posting nudes online or sharing without partner's consent
  • Sexual harrassment
  • Groping or touching partner's body without consent

+ Physical

Anything done physically that is unwanted, which can also include damaging possessions.

  • Punching, scratching, biting, strangling or kicking
  • Throwing objects, such as a phone or book
  • Pulling partner's hair
  • Pushing or pulling partner
  • Destroying clothing
  • Using a gun, knife, or other weapon to intimidate or threaten
  • Being forced to have sex or perform a sexual act
  • Grabbing partner's face to make them look at you.
  • Not letting partner leave or forcing them to go somewhere
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