What is Abuse?
There are so many types of abuse to look out for. Many people do not recognize what is considered abuse until they educate themselves on it. Abuse is defined by Wikipedia as the “improper usage or treatment of an entity, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit”. Abuse is also defined as the “bad or cruel treatment of a person or animal, or the use of something in an unsuitable or wrong way” according to the Cambridge Dictionary. The definitions described here do not necessarily clarify the ENTIRE impact or depth that ANY type of abuse has on an individual. I would know, I am a survivor of abuse.
As a result, I had read many e-books to educate myself on the depth and impact of abuse. Because I took the initiative to educate myself on it I understand the full effects now more than ever. Due to the positive reinforcement within myself that I’ve had from reading these books (especially for healing) I recomment one book in particular called You Can Thrive After Narcissistic Abuse: The #1 System for Recovering from Toxic Relationships.
Don’t EVER be afraid to take the initiative to better your mind, your health and ultimate yourself. Begin your healing process now.
What types of abuse are there?
The web defines many types of abuse. Some of the most common are: Physical, Sexual, Verbal, Emotional (Mental/Psychological), and Financial abuse. Victims of these types of abuse may not entirely understand or even realize that they are going through it. The thought of “I must be exaggerating this” is usually brushed aside when that gut feeling of something is not right comes along.
There are also silent signs of abuse that victims go through. Signs that outsiders would recognize, especially if they know the victim well.
Silent Signs of Abuse:
- Social Isolation or Withdrawal
- Excessive absences from school or work
- Eating Disorders
- Abuse of drugs or alcohol
Physical Abuse is the most obvious and most commonly well-known out of all types of abuse. It is defined as a way of a person receiving intentional trauma or injury by bodily contact from another person. Normally when someone first thinks of this word ‘Abuse’ they picture a woman with a black eye and a bloody lip. Sadly that is exactly what it is.
Signs of Physical Abuse:
- Swollen Areas of the body (eyes, lip, nose, cheeks, etc)
- Bite Marks
As a result, people are not able to see the physical abuse signs of a victim. For example, an abuser may punch the victims side repeatedly, bruising it but not breaking it. The abuser will then tell the victim to keep it hidden and threaten her so that she does not tell anyone about what happened. The abuser may also have the victim cover the markings with something like a band-aid , gauze, or even concealer. Then have her make up some false story of why it is there.
As defined in Wikipedia sexual abuse is “also referred to as molestation, is usually undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another”. The sexual abuse discussed here is to do with intimate relationships with two partners. Nothing that includes sexual abuse with children, strangers, family members, or friends.
Signs of Sexual Abuse by a Partner:
- Demanding sex when victim is unwilling
- Using weapons/threats to force the victim into sexual intercourse
- Intentional harm on sexual parts of the body
- Forced sexual participation with others or in the presence of others
- Use of drugs or alcohol to manipulate the unwilling victim into sexual intercourse
- Forced prostitution
- Making the victim do sexual things they do not want to do (includes participation in bondage/sadomasochistic activities)
Just because you may be his girlfriend/wife/partner (or vice versa) it does not mean you do not have a mind or choice of your own. If someone genuinely loves you they would not force any type of sexual wants onto you, especially when you are openly unwilling to do so.
Verbal abuse is pretty self-explanatory, it is verbal. Anything someone says to intentionally hurt the victim, demean the victim, or insult/criticize the victim. A lot of people do not realize that they are being verbally abused. I myself, did not realize it for a period of time until I did my research.
Signs of Verbal Abuse:
- Humiliates you in public on purpose
- Criticizes your friends, family, co-workers
- Insults you repeatedly (your attire, morals, beliefs, wants, dreams, etc)
- Insults you bluntly (ex: your stupid, you’ll never make it, no wonder you can’t do this/that)
- Constantly correcting the victim
- Constantly interrupting the victim
Verbal abuse is not to be taken lightly. This form of abuse can have extremely severe effects on someones self-esteem. These effects can interrupt their academic, professional, and home life. Many people take this form of abuse as bullying and we can see why.
Emotional (Mental/Psychological) Abuse
Emotional and verbal abuse usually mix together and these types of abuse are also something that victims are uneducated on. In order for a victim to be emotionally traumatized verbal abuse would have to be present. This is another one that can have extremely severe effects on the victim leaving them feeling alone and hopeless.
Signs of Emotional/Mental Abuse:
- All symptoms of verbal abuse
- Manipulation to get the victim to do what the abuser wants, this type of manipulation is mostly subtle
- Blame – Convincing the victim that everything is their fault even when it is not
- Isolation – Leaving/ignoring on purpose to punish the victim
One of the most powerful types of abuse is financial abuse. Victims become dependent on the abusers financially and because of this they do not have the financial security to be on their own. As a result, a majority of the time victims will stay or return to the abuser.
Furthermore, in situations like mine, I was forced to give him what he wanted. Normally, if I would refuse he would intimidate, manipulate, or threaten me into giving him what he wanted.
Signs of Financial Abuse:
- Control over financial resources: telling the victim when, where, how much they can spend
- Criticizes the victim if they buy something nice for themselves
- Threatening, manipulating, or intimidating the victim to get what they want
- Forcing the victim to provide in anything regardless if they want to or not
- Forging documents under the victims name (mortgage, credit cards, etc)
- Making them quit their job or purposely ruining the career (ex: harassing them at work so they get fired)
Consequently, there are many different scenarios that can be placed on financial abuse. This is usually the abusers first stop when beginning abuse so do NOT let yourself be fooled. Consequently he will make you feel responsible and guilty if you do not do what he wants and at the least he will force his will upon you. This is not love. To more thoroughly find out if you are being financially abused visit my other blog that contains more detail: How to Identify That You Are Being Financially Abused
Therefore, if it seems like you are in an abusive relationship you need to get out NOW. Likewise, you are certainly in an abusive relationship if you experience these types of abuse described. You need to finally recognize this and leave because staying does not promise that your situation with change. Even more so your safety is the most important thing. Again, if you are experiencing one or more (or even ALL) of these types of abuse you need to get out NOW. Do not turn back.
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