8 different types of abuse in a relationship (2023)

8 different types of abuse in a relationship (1)

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Abuse in any form consumes you from the inside out. crushes youSelf-esteemand separates you from life.But you don't have to hide and healing is possible.. It starts with understanding the 8 types of abuse in a relationship. It's not just physical.

What is abuse in a relationship?

Determining what constitutes abuse in a relationship can be difficult to pin down. Most people think of physical abuse, but there are many other types of abuse that people can inflict on each other. Essentially,Abuse is any act or behavior that causes harm or mental suffering.

As consultant Elizabeth McCormick explains in her articlewhat is abuse, there are also subtypes of abuse.For example, neglect and sexual abuse can sometimes escalate into physical abuse. Alternatively, you may experience feelings of guilt and abuse.emotional abuse.

8 different types of abuse in a relationship

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Regardless of the abuse, it eventually leads to mental health issues like depression.Victims often become desensitized to frequent abuse and take on shame and guilt.However, when your gut tells you that something is wrong, it is.

First, you need to understand what relationship abuse is by reading the following descriptions of the types of abuse. As you'll quickly see, it's about more than just being in aphysically abusive relationship.

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1. Emotional abuse

Abusive relationships do not always start with physical violence. Rather, types of abuse in a relationship can start with more subtle signs, particularly those that have emotional biases.This could be as simple as ignoring him or minimizing his feelings.

More specifically, spousal abuse often involves a dominant man. Of course, women can be abusive, but some traditional men take the need to protect themselves too far.

also dr clara murphyexplained in his articleBeing overprotective, stopping you from doing things, or treating you like property are also among the types of abuse in a relationship.

Manipulation, blame, passive-aggressive behavior, and shame can also be found within the emotional forms of abuse in a relationship.In addition, there is controlling and judgmental behavior or even isolation from friends and family.

This list is not exhaustive, as any verbal or behavioral act that causes shame, guilt, or fear is emotional abuse.

Related reading: 6 Strategies for Dealing with Emotional Abuse in a Relationship

2. Sexual abuse

People often think that sexual abuse in relationships is the most obvious thing after physical abuse. However, the CDC now refers to intimate partner violence to encompass all subtypes of sexual abuse.

O Centers for Disease Control and Preventionshows that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have been a victim at least once in their lives. This includes being bullied by a peer.. Although, of course, sexual abuse also includes unwanted touching or pressure to perform specific sexual acts.

Related reading:Sexual abuse in marriage: does it really exist?

3. Physical abuse

Physical abuse in a relationship can include hitting, shoving, and throwing objects. Of the forms of abuse in a relationship, this is the most likely to lead to depression, anxiety, and even PTSD. You can also generally associate it with substance abuse, both for the victim and the abuser.

that that Article Rehabspotexplains, victims and perpetrators are 11 times more likely to be involved in violent crime on days of substance abuse. It makes sense when you consider that people turn to substances to relieve physical and emotional pain.


Other lesser-known examples of physical abuse include force-feeding, strangulation, handcuffing, and dangerous driving.Basically, anything that could physically hurt you or put your life in danger is considered physical abuse in a relationship.

Related reading: The effects of physical abuse

4. Intellectual abuse

We all have needs and limits that help us function as healthy, grounded people. Intellectual boundaries are often ignored, especially in a relationship where the lines can be blurred.However, everyone is entitled to their own thoughts or ideas.

An example of this could be when a spouse prevents you from going to church or your spiritual meetings. Maybe they make you stupid for having these beliefs?

No matter what your beliefs are, as long as you don't harm anyone, you are free to stand up for them. Otherwise, you end up destroying your self-esteem.

Various types of abuses under the intellectual theme can also fall into the digital world. For example,Your spouse may belittle you by publicly attacking your opinions..

This type ofspousal violenceis very close to emotional abuse. Regardless, it's important to remember that you are entitled to your beliefs about how you should live your life. And that borders are part of that.

Learn more about loving without limits in this video from therapist Candace Plattor:

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5. Material and economic abuse

In accordance with US National Network to End Domestic Violence, 99% of abusive relationships involve financial abuse.Also in terms of the types of abuse in a relationship, it can come on gradually.

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It all starts harmlessly when the abuser offers to help put the finances in order so you don't have to worry. This adds up quickly and you find yourself cut off from so called joint accounts with no access to the funds. Essentially, the perpetrator is in complete control.

Likewise, if your spouse destroys or steals your property, you will also be harmed by material abuse. A car is an obvious example because once you destroy it, you are isolated. As for the types of abuse in a relationship, they play a huge role in destroying your autonomy.

Related reading: Financial abuse in marriage - 7 signs and ways to deal with it

6. Psychological abuse

There are many types of abuse in a relationship. It hardly matters. Rather, the key question is "What is abuse in a relationship?" To answer them, it is enough to observe any action or behavior that could harm your physical or mental health.

Although the mind and our emotions are clearly connected, there is a difference.Psychological abuse focuses more on influencing your thought processes than just your emotions. So where emotional abuse erodes your self-esteem, mental abuse affects your sense of reality, much like gaslighting.

Sexual abuse in relationships can also intersect with types of mental and emotional abuse in a relationship. For example, forcing someone to engage in sexual activity that demeans them is also a form of psychological abuse.

Likewise, sex can be used to control other people's feelings, for example. B. make people feel ugly or unwanted. Once again, the assailant injured the victim.

Related reading: Recognizing psychological abuse in a relationship

7. Cultural abuse

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Unfortunately, a person's culture can also be used against them to cause harm. While this overlaps with other types of relationship abuse and is less talked about, it is just as harmful. It can also happen in the digital world, where people often attack each other in public.

The signs of cultural abuse are similar to other types of abuse in a relationship. When the fundamental core of a person is attacked, it can also lead to depression and anxiety. People can withdraw quickly, especially when the abuse is physical and they want to hide their injuries.

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Typical examples would be isolating people from their community, denying their traditions, or criticizing their practices.The ultimate goal is to deal damage to the victim.

8. Discriminatory abuse

If your partner treats you badly because of your disability or gender, you may experience discriminatory abuse. In this case, physical abuse may prevent you from accessing your wheelchair, for example.

Other types of abuse in this category may make fun of your gendersocial media. You can even put your age on the line.This is compounded when they simultaneously exploit you, for example, using your social benefit solely for their benefit.

abuse policy

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No matter what type of relationship abuse you are facing, you are not alone and help is available. Leaving is not always an easy or safe option without a plan in place.Therefore, as a first step, find out as much information as possible.

You can also turn to online support groups or therapists who deal specifically with physical abuse in a relationship.They will help you identify patterns of abusive relationships and validate your story. There is nothing worse than questioning yourself in these difficult times.

When dealing with your abuser, you should never interfere and keep statements to a minimum.The idea is to avoid adding fuel to your emotions. This means not responding or trying to reason with them. Just say you can talk later and then go.

If you find yourself in a physically abusive relationship, try to get to a safe place as soon as possible. Try to reach out to friends and family if you can, or contact a local support group. Even if you don't have access to your finances, these support groups can help you break free.

Related reading: 8 different types of therapists and what their job consists of

Final recommendations for dealing with abuse

So what counts as abuse in a relationship? Generally speaking, it is anything that can harm you physically, mentally, or emotionally.No one should have to suffer at the hands of others. You may have been a victim yourself, but nothing justifies attacking others.

(Video) What Does Relationship Abuse Look Like? (Abuse Series)

Patterns of abusive relationships rarely and never end without help. It's tempting to convince ourselves that if we face different types of abuse in a relationship, things will change.However, the only way to help yourself is to get help.

With a therapist or a support group, you can heal and recover.You can find people to talk to who have had their own experiences of abuse. There is a power in the community that will awaken you to find the life you deserve, free from harm.


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