The Many Faces of Family Violence


Physical Abuse
   Pushing, shoving, physically preventing a person from leaving
   Slapping, biting, kicking, choking, pinching, burning, hitting or punching
   Tying down, sitting upon, or physically restraining the victim
   Throwing objects
   Abandonment in dangerous places
   Threats with or injury with weapons
   Intentionally disrupting sleep
   Withholding food or medication
   Withholding medical appliances (walker, crutches, dentures)
   Preventing the victim from leaving the house
   Throwing the victim down stairs or against a wall, striking the victim with a motor vehicle, setting the victim on fire, holding the victim under water

Emotional Abuse
   Ignoring feelings, subjecting the partner to unpredictable outbursts of anger, withdrawal of contact or affection
   Persistent name-calling, degrading remarks, humiliation of the victim in public or private
   Ridiculing the partner's performance: sexual, housecleaning, work, etc.
   Displaying obsessive jealousy
   Isolating the victim from family or friends
   Insulting family or friends of the victim
   Insulting beliefs, religion, race, heritage, or sex
   Controlling the victim's clothing, hairstyle, entertainment, religious affiliation, and work choices
   Abusing pets to punish or frighten the victim

Sexual Abuse
   Obtaining sex by force, assaulting the victim during sexual acts, rape
   Forced unsafe sex
   Forced oral, anal, or genital contact
   Criticizing sexual performance
   Using sexually degrading language
   Forcing the victim to perform sadistic or unpleasant sexual acts
   Denying sex to the victim
   Controlling reproductive choice (i.e., prohibition of contraception)
   Forcing the victim to have sex with others
   Forcing the victim to engage in prostitution
   Intentional exposure to sexually transmitted diseases including HIV
   Unwanted sexual bondage
   Threatening the victim with a weapon to obtain sex

Destructive Acts
   Throwing, breaking or burning of household items
   Cutting up clothing, furniture, credit cards
   Throwing away medications and destroying medical appliances (dentures, crutches, prosthetic devices)
   Damaging or stealing the victims car
   Intentional damage to personal items such as photographs, jewelry, clothing
   Stealing, hiding, or selling of the victim's property

Economic Abuse
   Seizing control of the partner's assets, registering all assets in the name of the abuser
   Misuse of the partner's credit cards
   Interference with the partner's work or education
   Refusal to work, forcing the partner to work to support the abuser
   Interference with the partner's spending
   Stealing the partner's disability or social security checks, food, stamps, etc.

Threatening Behaviors
   Brandishing weapons
   Threatening physical or sexual assault
   Threatening to expose the partner to HIV
   Threatening to destroy or misappropriate property
   Threats to kill the partner, self, others
   Threats against third parties
   Reminders of prior assaults against third parties
   Displays of anger:  pounding fists in anger
   Telephone harassment
   Threats to expose the partner's sexual orientation (same-sex partners)
   Threats to kidnap or sue for sole custody of the couple's children