Domestic Violence and Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Effects (2023)

Tina de Benedictis, Ph.D., Jaelline Jaffe, Ph.D., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.,

National telephone directory and crisis hotlines

All too often, the media bombards us with reports of a high-profile domestic violence case in which a man or woman is suspected of murdering their wife or husband, with or without a history of domestic violence. Strength. How can a person go from loving and living with another person to beating or killing them? What kind of people resort to domestic violence against their spouse or partner? What kind of person thinks it's okay to constantly put down or badmouth their intimate partner? What kind of person has sex with their partner without the person's consent and desire to participate?

A common pattern of domestic violence is for the abuser to alternate between violent, abusive behavior and apologetic behavior, with seemingly sincere promises of change. The bully can be really nice most of the time. Therein lies the continued attraction of the abusive partner and why many people are unable to leave the abusive relationship.

Domestic violence is usually one of the following:

  • child abuse
  • Abuse by a spouse or intimate domestic partner
  • elder abuse

In this article, we address domestic violence between spouses and intimate partners: types of domestic violence, signs and symptoms, causes and effects. Domestic violence and abuse are widespread. The first step to ending misery is to recognize that the situation is abusive. Then you can seek help. See the related Help Guide article: Domestic violence and abuse: help, treatment, intervention and prevention.

What is the definition of domestic violence between intimate partners?

Domestic abuse between spouses or intimate partners occurs when one person in a marital or intimate relationship tries to control the other person. The bully will use fear and intimidation and may threaten or use physical violence. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.

The victim of domestic or intrafamily violence can be a man or a woman. Domestic violence occurs in traditional heterosexual marriages as well as in same-sex couples. Abuse can occur during a relationship, while the couple is separating, or after the relationship has ended.

Domestic violence often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. Domestic violence can even result in murder.

The main elements of domestic violence are:

  • bullying
  • humiliation of the other person
  • physical injury

Domestic violence is not the result of losing control; Domestic violence is a deliberate attempt to control another person. The abuser intentionally uses verbal, non-verbal, or physical means to control the other person.

In some cultures, male control over women is accepted as the norm. This article addresses the orientation that control over intimate partners is domestic violence within a culture where such control is not the norm. Today we see many cultures moving from the subordination of women to increasing women's equality in relationships.

What types of domestic violence are there?

(Video) What Is Domestic Violence? Types, Symptoms, Treatment and More

The types of domestic violence are:

  • physical abuse (domestic violence)
  • Verbal or non-verbal abuse (mental abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse)
  • sexual abuse
  • Stalking or Cyberstalking
  • economic abuse or financial abuse
  • spiritual abuse

The lines between these types of domestic violence are somewhat blurred, but there is a strong differentiation between different forms of physical violence and different types of verbal or non-verbal violence.

What is physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner?

Physical abuse is the use of physical force against another person in a way that injures him or puts him at risk of being harmed. Physical abuse ranges from physical restraint to murder. When someone talks about domestic violence, they are usually referring to physical abuse by a spouse or intimate partner.

Physical aggression or beating is a crime, whether committed inside or outside the family. The police have the power to protect you from physical attacks.

Physical abuse includes:

  • push, throw, kick
  • slap, grab, hit, hit, hit, trip, hit, squeeze, choke, shake
  • pinch, bite
  • wait, wait, wait
  • break bones
  • Attacking with a weapon such as a knife or gun
  • combustion
  • Murder

What is Emotional Abuse or Verbal Abuse from a Spouse or Intimate Partner?

Mental, psychological or emotional abuse can be verbal or non-verbal. Verbal or non-verbal abuse by a spouse or intimate partner involves more subtle acts or behaviors than physical abuse. While physical abuse may feel worse, verbal and emotional abuse leaves deep scars. Studies show that verbal or non-verbal abuse can be much more emotionally damaging than physical abuse.

Verbal or non-verbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner can include:

  • Threatening or Intimidating to Obtain Compliance
  • Destroy or threaten to destroy the victim's personal property and belongings
  • Violence against an object (such as a wall or furniture) or a pet in the presence of the intended victim, such as
  • a way to feed the fear of more violence
  • scream or scream
  • assignment
  • bullying constante
  • embarrassing, insulting or making fun of the victim, whether alone at home, in public or in front of family or friends
  • Criticizing or belittling the victim's achievements or goals
  • not relying on the victim's decision-making
  • tell the victim that she is worthless on her own without the abuser
  • excessive possessiveness, isolation from friends and family
  • Excessive supervision of the victim to ensure that he is at home or where he should be
  • saying hurtful things while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and using the substance as an excuse to say hurtful things
  • Blaming the victim for how the abuser acts or feels
  • leaving the victim at the scene after a fight or elsewhere after a fight just to "teach them a lesson"
  • make the victim feel that there is no way out of the relationship

What is sexual abuse or exploitation of a spouse or intimate partner?

Sexual abuse includes:

  • Sexual Assault: Forcing someone to engage in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity
  • Sexual Harassment: Making fun of another person to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive opportunities.
  • sexual exploitation (for example, forcing someone to watch pornography or participate in the production of pornographic films)

Sexual abuse is often combined with physical abuse; They may occur together, or sexual abuse may follow physical abuse.

What is stalking?

Stalking is the act of harassing or threatening another person, particularly in a way that repeatedly and insidiously harasses that person, physically or emotionally. Intimate partner stalking can occur during the relationship and the partner's activities are closely monitored. Or the stalking may occur after a partner or spouse leaves the relationship. The stalker may be trying to win the partner back or may want to hurt the partner as punishment for leaving. Regardless of the subtleties, the victim fears for his safety.

(Video) What Is Child Abuse and Neglect? Types, Symptoms, Treatment and Diagnosis

Stalking can take place in or near the victim's home, near or at their workplace, on the way to their workplace or other destination, or on the Internet (cyberstalking). Harassment can occur over the phone, in person or online. Bullies can never show their face or be anywhere in person.

Bullies use a variety of threatening tactics:

  • repeated calls, sometimes with hang up
  • Tracking (possibly even with a global positioning device)
  • Locate the individual through public records, online searches, or paid investigators
  • Observing with hidden cameras
  • suddenly appears where the victim is, at home, at school or at work
  • To send emails; Communicating in chat rooms or with instant messaging (cyberbullying: see below)
  • Sending unwanted packages, cards, gifts or letters
  • Monitor victim's calls or computer usage
  • Contact the victim's friends, family, co-workers or neighbors for more information about the victim.
  • Searching through the victim's trash
  • Threatening to harm the victim or their family, friends or pets
  • Damage the victim's home, car or other property

Chasing is unpredictable and should always be considered dangerous. if someone follows you
contacting you when you don't want to be contacted, trying to control or scare you,
then seek help immediately.

Foi cyberstalking?

Cyberbullying is the use of telecommunications technology, such as the Internet or email, to harass another person. Cyberbullying can be an additional form of bullying or it can be the only method used by the bully. Cyberbullying is intentional, persistent and personal.

Unsolicited email spam is different from cyberbullying. Spam does not target the individual in the same way as cyberbullying. The cyber bully methodically finds and contacts the victim. As with spam of a sexual nature, a message from a cyberbully can be upsetting and inappropriate. As with spam, you cannot terminate contact with a request. In fact, the more you protest or respond, the more rewarded the cyberbully feels. The best response to cyberbullying is not to respond to the contact.

Cyberbullying falls into a gray area of ​​law enforcement. Enforcement of most state and federal anti-stalking laws requires that the victim be directly threatened with an act of violence. Very few law enforcement agencies can act if the threat is only hinted at.

Regardless of whether you can enforce cyberbullying laws, you must take cyberbullying seriously and protect yourself. Cyberbullying sometimes turns into actual bullying and physical violence.

How likely is bullying to turn into violence?

Stalking can result in violence, whether the harasser threatens violence or not. And the stalking can turn violent, even if the stalker has no experience with violence.

Harassing women become just as violent as harassing men.

Those around the stalking victim are also at risk of injury. For example, a parent, spouse, or bodyguard who makes the stalking victim unapproachable could be injured or killed if the stalker stalks the stalking victim.

What is economic or financial abuse of a spouse or common-law partner?

Economic or financial abuse includes:

(Video) 4 signs of emotional abuse - Viann Nguyen-Feng

  • Withholding financial resources, such as cash or credit cards
  • Stealing or cheating a partner's money or property
  • Exploitation of intimate partner resources for personal gain
  • Deprivation of physical resources such as food, clothing, necessary medication or protection from a partner.
  • Preventing Spouse or Intimate Partner Job or Career Choice

What is Spiritual Abuse of a Spouse or Intimate Partner?

Spiritual abuse includes:

  • Using a spouse or intimate partner's religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate them
  • preventing the partner from exercising their religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Making fun of another person's religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Forcing children to be raised in the belief that the partner did not consent to

How do I know if I'm in an abusive relationship? What are the signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship?

The more of the following questions you can answer yes, the more likely it is that you are in an abusive relationship. Review your answers and seek help if you feel you have answered positively to a large number of questions.

Your inner feelings and dialogue: fear, self-loathing, numbness, despair

  • Are you afraid of your partner most of the time?
  • Do you avoid certain topics or spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to talk about certain topics so as not to trigger negative reactions or anger from your partner?
  • Do you sometimes feel like you can't please your partner?
  • Have you ever felt so bad about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt?
  • Have you lost the love and respect you once had for your partner?
  • Do you sometimes wonder if you're the one crazy because you might be overreacting to your partner's behavior?
  • Do you sometimes fantasize about killing your partner to get them out of your life?
  • Are you afraid that your partner will try to kill you?
  • Are you afraid that your partner will try to take your children away from you?
  • Do you feel like you have nowhere to turn for help?
  • Do you feel emotionally numb?
  • Were you abused as a child or grew up with domestic violence at home? Does domestic violence seem normal to you?

Your partner's lack of control over their behavior:

  • Does your partner have low self-esteem? Do they seem to feel powerless, ineffective, or inadequate in the world even though they seem to be successful?
  • Does your partner voice the causes of their own behavior? Do they blame stress, alcohol, or a "bad day" for their violence?
  • Is your partner unpredictable?
  • Between episodes of violence, is your partner a comfortable person?

Your partner's violent or threatening behavior:

  • Is your partner in a bad mood?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to hurt or kill you?
  • Has your partner ever physically hurt you?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to take your children away from you, especially if you try to end the relationship?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide, specifically to stop you from leaving?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to have sex when you didn't want to?
  • Has your partner ever threatened you at work, in person or over the phone?
  • Is your partner cruel to animals?
  • Does your partner destroy your belongings or household items?

Control your partner's behavior:

  • Is your partner trying to stop you from seeing your friends or family?
  • Do you feel embarrassed about inviting friends or family over because of your partner's behavior?
  • Has your partner restricted your access to money, phone or car?
  • Is your partner trying to stop you from going where you want to go or doing what you want to do outside the home?
  • Is your partner jealous and possessive, asking where you're going and where you've been as if they're watching you? Are they accusing you of having an affair?

Your partner's contempt for you:

  • Does your partner verbally abuse you?
  • Does your partner put you down or criticize you in front of others?
  • Does your partner tend to ignore you or belittle your opinions or posts?
  • Does your partner always insist they are right, even when they are clearly wrong?
  • Does your partner blame you for their own violent behavior, saying that their behavior or attitudes make them violent?
  • Does your partner often get mad at you?
  • Does your partner object to and look down on people of your gender? Does your partner see you as property or a sex object rather than a person?

What are the warning signs in my workplace that someone is a victim of domestic violence?

Domestic violence often takes place in the workplace. For example, a husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend may make threatening calls to their intimate partner or ex-partner. Or the worker shows injuries from physical abuse at home.

If you see an accumulation of the following warning signs at work, you may have a reasonable suspicion of domestic violence:

  • Bruises and other signs of blows to the skin with the "accidents" excuse
  • depression, crying
  • frequent and sudden absences
  • frequent delay
  • Frequent harassing calls to the person while at work
  • Fear of partner, evidence of partner anger
  • Decreased productivity and alertness.
  • Isolation from friends and family.
  • Insufficient resources to live on (cash, credit cards, car)

If you see signs of domestic violence in a colleague, talk to your Human Resources department. Human resources personnel should be able to help the victim without any further action on your part.

What are the causes of domestic or intrafamily violence?

(Video) The Effects of Exposure to Domestic Violence on Babies and Children

A strong predictor of domestic violence in later life is domestic violence in the home where the person grew up. For example, a child's exposure to his mother's abuse of his father is the strongest risk factor for the transmission of domestic violence from one generation to the next. This cycle of domestic violence is difficult to break because parents have made violence the norm.

People living with domestic violence at home have learned that violence and abuse are the way to vent their anger. Someone resorts to physical violence because:

  • used violence to solve their problems in the past,
  • exercised effective control and power over others through violence, and
  • Nobody stopped her from being violent in the past.

Some immediate causes that can trigger an episode of domestic violence are:

  • to emphasize
  • Intimate partner teasing.
  • economic emergency, such as B. Prolonged unemployment
  • Depression
  • Despair
  • jealousy
  • vaya

How does society perpetuate domestic violence?

Society contributes to domestic violence by not taking it seriously enough and treating it as expected, normal or deserved. Specifically, society perpetuates domestic abuse in the following ways.

  • The police cannot treat domestic violence as a crime, but as a "domestic dispute".
  • Courts cannot impose serious consequences, such as imprisonment or financial penalties
  • A community usually does not exclude domestic abusers.
  • Ministers or advisers may have the attitude that the relationship needs improvement and that if more time and effort is put into it, the relationship can work.
  • People may have attitudes that the abuse is the victim's fault or that abuse is a normal part of marriage or domestic partnerships.
  • Gender role socialization and stereotypes condone male abusive behavior

Community solutions can fall short, preventing victims from getting the help they need. For example, seeking refuge in an emergency shelter may require a woman to leave her neighbourhood, social support system, workplace, school and daycare. In addition, young people are often not welcome in shelters, especially teenagers. Teenage girls with children may have difficulty finding accommodation due to their age. And male victims of domestic violence struggle to find shelters that will accommodate them.

Domestic violence is more common in low-income populations. Low-income victims may lack the mobility and financial resources to leave an abusive situation.

Who abuses their spouse or intimate partner?

  • Ninety-two percent of physical abusers are men. However, women can also be perpetrators of domestic violence.
  • About 75% of harassers are men who harass women. But stalkers can also be women chasing men, men chasing men, or women chasing women.
  • Domestic violence knows no ethnic or age boundaries.
  • Domestic violence can happen during a relationship or after a relationship ends.

What are the consequences of domestic violence or abuse?

The consequences of domestic violence or abuse can be long-lasting. People who are abused by their spouse or intimate partner may develop:

  • trouble sleeping
  • Depression
  • anxiety attacks
  • low self-esteem
  • lack of trust in others
  • feelings of abandonment
  • vaya
  • rejection sensitivity
  • decreased mental and physical health
  • incapacity for work
  • bad relationships with your children and other loved ones
  • Substance abuse as a means of coping
  • Physical abuse can lead to death if the victim does not leave the relationship.

What are the effects of domestic violence on children?

Children who witness domestic violence can develop serious emotional, behavioral, developmental or academic problems. As children, they can become violent or withdrawn. Some play at home or at school; others try to be the perfect child. Children from violent families can become depressed and have low self-esteem.

Children and young people who grow up with domestic violence at home are in their development:

  • more likely to use violence at school or in the community in response to perceived threats
  • more likely to attempt suicide
  • I'd rather take drugs
  • more likely to commit crimes, particularly sexual assault
  • more likely to use violence to improve their reputation and self-esteem
  • more likely to become perpetrators in their own relationships later in life

(Video) Physical Abuse and Its Long Term Effects


1. Nebraska Legislature: Health and Human Services Committee Hearing (afternoon) p1 02-08-23
(NE Progressive Legislative Study Group)
2. 6 Signs Of People Who Have Been Abused
3. Domestic violence expert teaches how to spot warning signs of abuse
(ABC News)
4. Unit 7 LO 2.1 - Identify the Signs And/or Symptoms Associated with Each Type of Abuse | NVQ Level-3
(Students Assignment Help)
5. 6 Signs of Emotional Abuse and Neglect
6. 8 Ways Emotional Abuse Traumatizes You
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