The Various Types of Abuse Explained

Posts/Tweets June 4, 2014

Welcome to Right-On with HFG Happy Families Support Network Inc. (HFG)

HFG is a not-for-profit support group that provides ongoing support to women and children who have experienced abuse

HFG is a free support group for women and children who have experienced abuse, run by women who have experienced abuse

The topic for today is – The Various Types of Abuse Explained

How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship?

  1. Are you nervous for fearful when you are around him?
  2. Do you always agree with his opinions even if you have different ones?
  3. Does he do or say things one minute then denies it the next, saying you are the one who did or said these things?
  4. Does he threaten to call CAS or the Police so they will remove you from the home and take your children away?
  5. Do you walk around on egg shells to avoid making him upset or angry?
  6. Does he withhold sex because you are not doing as you are told?
  7. Does he criticize or embarrass you in public?
  8. Do you feel nothing you do is good enough for him?
  9. Does he threaten to kill himself, take away the children or hurt you if you ever leave him?
  10. Are you lying or making excuses to your family and friends about his behaviour?

If your answer was YES to the questions above, then you are in an abusive relationship

The types of domestic abuse being explained today are: Physical, Sexual, Emotional, Verbal, Mental, Economic, & Spiritual

Abusers usually display behaviours from a combination of the various types of abuse

Some abusive behaviours fall under more than one type of abuse

Here are the 7 types of abuse and examples of the behaviours that fall under each category

This is just a guide and is by no means a complete list of behaviours or types of abuse

Physical Abuse: bodily harm, threat to cause bodily harm, destruction of property

  1. Punching (you, walls, doors), choking, pushing, slapping, hair pulling, burning, arm twisting, biting, use of weapons, murder
  2. Restraining or blocking your path to prevent you from leaving. Locking you out of the home
  3. Throwing objects at you or threatening to throw objects at you. Breaking or stealing your possessions
  4. Withholding or interfering with access to the necessities: medical attention, food, sleep
  5. Stalking, Kidnapping, Physically abusing or threatening to abuse children or pets
  6. Constantly calling Police and CAS and making false statements about you
  7. Putting things in your food to make you sick

Sexual Abuse: forcing or attempting to force sexual contact without consent, contact that humiliates & cause feelings of shame & vulnerability

  1. Marital rape, non-consensual force or roughness, rape with an object, unwanted sadistic sexual acts
  2. Making belittling comments about your body, your appearance, your sexual past
  3. Refusing to comply with request for safe sex, having extramarital affairs, exposing you to sexually transmitted diseases
  4. Withholding sex or intimate relations because you did not do as you were told

Emotional, Mental & Verbal Abuse: repeated hurtful words, actions or lack of actions with disregard for your feelings

Emotional, mental and verbal abuse are used to instill fear, hopelessness, isolate you and undermine your self-worth

  1. Belittling you in front of friends, family or strangers. Name-calling and use of abusive language. Constant criticism or humiliation
  2. Withholding affection or approval as punishment for something you did or didn’t do. Constantly blaming your for everything
  3. Constantly accusing you of having affairs, obsessive jealousy. Using disproportionate anger or yelling to intimidate you
  4. Always telling you nothing you do will ever be good enough, you are a bad mother, no one wants or loves you
  5. Telling false stories or playing mind games.
  6. Telling you he doesn’t know what you are talking about. Manipulating you with words, ideas or lies
  7. Denying what he’s said or done and telling you it’s all in his head. Making you doubt yourself and wonder if you’re crazy
  8. Blaming your friends or family for the problems in your relationship. Monitoring phone calls & mail. Stalking
  9. Constantly calling to see where you are, who you are with. Will not let you go out by yourself, he needs to be there constantly
  10. Forcing you to choose between the relationship and friends and family
  11. Threatening to take away your children

Economic Abuse: use or misuse of financial resources as a means of making you financially dependent

  1. Preventing you from working. Making you constantly late for work, showing up constantly at your workplace to fight
  2. Refusing to work but being very careless with money, not paying bills or buying groceries. Forcing you to borrow money
  3. Controlling bank accounts, constantly moving or spending money so you always have to ask him for money
  4. Putting all bills in your name, when bills are not paid your credit is the one that’s damaged
  5. Forging your signature on financial documents. Constantly removing credit cards, money and cheque book from your purse
  6. Not paying Court Ordered child support payments

Spiritual Abuse: making you question your spiritual beliefs and values

  1. Using your religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate you. Preventing you from practicing your religion
  2. Ridiculing your religious or spiritual beliefs. Citing scripture to justify abusive, dominating or oppressive behavior
  3. Shaming or belittle you for your religious practices. Making oppressive demands based on his interpretation religious teachings
  4. Instilling religious guilt for not doing what he wants you to
  5. Manipulating others in your religious communities to control and ostracize you

I’m sure there are many more behavioural characteristics for these types of domestic abuse.

If anything listed under the types of abuse resonates with you, please remember YOU ARE NOT CRAZY, this is actually happening

You are not alone, there are support groups and services that will help you. TRUST YOUR GUT! YOUR SAFETY IS IMPORTANT


Thank you for joining Right-On with HFG. We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday June 11 for our weekly Right-On conversation

The topic for next week is – Safety Plan, Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Please email your questions and comments to

If you would like more information on the HFG support group please email

Have a great day! HFG Hugs!!