The most common definition of abuse, what we usually use in society, is a way of behaviour used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another. Abuse can affect on anyone, and it is possible to happen in different relationships, such as romantic relationship, friendship, romantic relationship, or family. Abuse can be happening in many ways, but there are generally 6 different forms and types of abuse.
This is the type of abuse that many people think of when they hear the word ‘abuse.’ It can include punching, hitting, slapping, kicking, strangling, or physically and intentionally causing injury or trauma to another person against their will. Physical abuse can be also driving recklessly or invading someone’s physical space or make someone feel physically unsafe either harmed.
Sex can be loaded with cultural and emotional implications, there are any number of ways that the feelings around it can be uniquely used for power and control.
Emotional and verbal abuse can happen also in front of other people by abuser dominating the victim with words and actions “you are nothing” or “you are dumb” etc. If the audience doesn’t react, the victim might think that he/she is really nothing or just stupid. In that case, the persons who have witnessed the abuse shall accept the subjugation of another human being.
Mental or psychological abuse happens when one partner, through a series of actions or words, wears away at the other’s sense of mental wellbeing and health. Mental and Psychological abuses are meant to undermine other person’s self-esteem and make them feel worse about themselves. It is a form of manipulation and control, and it often involves making the victim doubt their own sanity.
Mental abuse is also unfortunately usual in our society. Almost half of all women and men reporting psychological aggression by an intimate partner.
Abuse is not all about power and control. The abuser will use any means necessary to maintain that control, and often that includes finances. Whether it is controlling all of the budgeting in the household and not letting the survivor have access to their own bank accounts or spending money, or opening credit cards and running up debts in the survivor’s name, or simply not letting the survivor have a job and earn their own money, this type of abuse is often a big reason why someone is unable to leave an abusive relationship.
Many of the survivors have problems with their credit, because of an abuser’s past behavior. A bad credit history can affect your ability to get an apartment, a job, a car loan, and any number of other things necessary for self-sufficiency.
Culture and identity abuse happens when the abuser use ways to affect negatively the victim’s cultural identity. Abuser wants to control victim by disparaging behaviour and words of the victim’s identity and cultural background. When the abuser is not letting someone be themselves – dress as they observe, believe in any religion they want, embrace their sexuality is isolating victim of their true selves. Cultural abuse can also be forcing the victim’s spiritual or cultural beliefs and practices that conflict with their own.
Article written by: Julia Leino