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If you ask most people on the street what an abusive relationship is, chances are you’d get a description of physical abuse. And yes, that is most certainly an abusive relationship. However, abuse comes in many forms. The actual meaning of abuse is when someone exerts control over another person.
Abuse can be control through intimidation or threats. For example, “I’ll punch you in the face if you do that again.” Or it can be control over the finances, emotional manipulation, verbal abuse, or sexual abuse. Sexual abuse doesn’t need to be violent, but if you’re coerced into doing things that you don’t want to do through threats or intimidation, that’s abuse.
And the different types of abuse often overlap. For example, verbal and physical abuse often go hand in hand, but so too do emotional abuse and verbal abuse. Here is a summary of the different types of abuse:
• Financial abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Physical abuse
• Verbal abuse
• Emotional abuse
• Use of technology to check up on someone
Because there are so many different types of abuse and because the majority of abuse categories don’t come with bruises, it can be difficult to recognize abuse in your own relationships and in those of the people you love and care for.
There are some signs that abuse is part of the relationship. The signs are generally related to negative emotions like fear and shame. For example, if you feel afraid around your partner or constantly worried that you’re going to make them mad or set them off, then that’s a sign of abuse being present.
If your partner is jealous, accusatory and is always checking up on you to make sure you are where you said you’d be, that is a sign of abuse. They might check your mileage or use technology to track your whereabouts. If your partner yells at you or makes you feel inadequate, crazy, or stupid, then that is a sign of emotional and verbal abuse.
And if you don’t have freedoms with your finances or the ability to make decisions for yourself regarding your job and your activities, then it is a sign of abuse. It’s important to point out that the subtle signs of abuse often increase over time. The abuse becomes more frequent and more severe. Someone who is yelling or intimidating now may be hitting next week. If you recognize the signs of abuse, it’s time to take control over your life. Your wellbeing and safety matter.Other Details
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