October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Types of Abuse
There are many types of abuse and they are all difficult to experience. Explore this section to learn the different ways abuse can occur so you can better identifying them. Remember, each type of abuse is serious and no one deserves to experience any form of it.
1. Emotional Abuse/Verbal Abuse Non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring or “checking in,” excessive texting, humiliation, intimidation or isolation.
2. Stalking Being repeatedly watched, followed or harassed.
3. Financial Abuse Using money or access to accounts to exert power and control over a partner.
4. Physical Abuse Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving, biting, strangling, kicking or using a weapon.
5. Sexual Abuse Any action that impacts a person's ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including restricting access to birth control or condoms. Ignoring someone's refusal to engage in sexual activities by repeatedly using emotional, verbal or physical pressure.
6. Digital Abuse The use of technology such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner. Often this behavior is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated through technology.
7. Dating Abuse Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. While we define dating violence as a pattern, that doesn't mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence. It just recognizes that dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time.
8. Drugs and Alcohol can make an unhealthy situation worse, especially if you are an abusive relationship,. Your abusive partner may get you drunk or high to take advantage of you. When you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re more vulnerable to:
· Being sexually assaulted.
· Having unsafe or unprotected sex.
· Getting a sexually transmitted disease.
· Getting pregnant.
Warning Signs of Abuse
Because relationships exist on a spectrum, it can be hard to tell when a behavior crosses the line from healthy to unhealthy or even abusive. Use these warning signs of abuse to see if your relationship is going in the wrong direction:
A safety plan is a plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action and more. A good safety plan will have all of the information you need and be tailored to your unique situation, and will help walk you through different scenarios. Although some of the things that you outline in your safety plan may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that in moments of crisis your brain doesn’t function the same way as when you are calm. When adrenaline is pumping through your veins it can be hard to think clearly or make logical decisions about your safety. Having a safety plan laid out in advance can help you to protect yourself in those stressful moments. (adapted from the National Domestic Violence Hotline www.thehotline.org).
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)