Domestic violence comes in various forms, but each one of them can be deadly. Nowadays, the problem of abuse in intimate relationships is extremely threatening, and the statistics prove exactly this. Did you know that more than 12 million women and men become victims of domestic abuse each year? In addition to that shocking fact, nearly 40% of all female homicide cases were victims of intimate partner violence. It means that nearly half of murdered women died because of their intimate partners. We believe that is more than enough to realize how scary this issue is. In order to stop it, we need to understand what types of domestic violence exist.
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3 types of domestic violence
There many different classifications regarding domestic violence, but arguably the most reasonable is the one, which includes three basic types: physical, sexual, and emotional. Let’s look closer at these main types of intimate partner violence.
1. Physical abuse
One of the most terrible types of domestic violence, where men are predominantly perpetrators and women are victims, is more than just beating and hitting the partner. Physical abuse includes the following forms:
- beating, hitting, biting, punching, threatening with a weapon or actually using it;
- depriving of money, food, water;
- locking in the room or restraining, meaning holding the victim hostage;
- threatening or actually injuring others, including children;
- actions that are causing bodily injuries.
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2. Sexual abuse
According to recent studies, every tenth woman is raped by the intimate partner, which causes severe mental health issues in 80% of cases, including anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, etc. Sexual domestic violence includes the following forms:
- exploiting a victim who is unable to make a conscious decision: drugged, being asleep, disabled, etc.;
- bullying a victim’s sexual orientation of body;
- using sex as a manipulative mechanism;
- any nonconsensual sex, rape;
- nonconsensual sexual contacts;
- force or coerce unwanted sexual experiences or activities.
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3. Emotional (mental, psychological) abuse
Unlike physical abuse, emotional domestic violence is very hard to identify, as it usually shows only behavioral signs. In most cases, intimate partner violence starts with emotional abuse and progresses into physical or sexual abuse. This type of domestic violence includes the following forms:
- consistently belittling and devaluing a victim to undermine the self-esteem and maintain control in the relationship;
- repeated gaslighting (a form of manipulation to make a victim doubt in their memory and sanity);
- frequent name-calling, yelling, or ignoring;
- intimidating, threatening, or accusing a victim;
- isolating a victim from their friends and family;
- intimidating a victim using their social media;
- repeatedly insulting a victim in front of other people.
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What are the other types of domestic violence?
The described above types of domestic violence do not cover the whole specter of abusive behavior. There are many more ways for people to abuse their intimate partners, including financial abuse (solely controlling the family income; keeping financial secrets; preventing a victim from getting a job; etc.), stalking (following a victim from their work; constantly making unwanted communication; monitoring texts, social media, phone calls; etc.), religious abuse (prohibiting a victim to practice their religious beliefs; using a victim’s religion as a control mechanism; etc.).
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The big question is how do we stop this problem? First of all, we need to become educated and then spread our knowledge all over the world. There are so many examples of domestic violence that anyone can be a perpetrator without the realization of it. This is why education comes in the first place. Learning about the types and signs of domestic abuse can help us prevent it. And then, if you become a witness of such incident, you can report it. Either call 9-1-1 if the situation is life-threatening or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Let’s make this world a better place for us and our children.