Do you know the 12 different types of abuse?

My 17 year old son and I were racing the other day to see who could name all 12 forms of abuse the fastest. (Slow night on tv obviously.) But seriously, I am proud that I have a son who is well versed in appropriate and inappropriate behaviour for relationships. It comes from living with a mom who talks about it all the time! How many types of woman abuse can you name? I have listed all 12 below with a couple examples of each. For a fuller exploration, look at our video about the different types of abuse.

Psychological / Mental Abuse: mind games, rewriting history

Physical Abuse: driving recklessly, restraining the woman, blocking the woman’s exit from a room

Verbal Abuse: yelling, screaming, name calling, put downs.

Sexual Abuse: using pornography, coercing sex, sexual put downs

Spiritual Abuse: using scripture against the woman, cutting her off from her religious community

Using Children: threatening to take the children, belittling the woman in front of the children

Social Abuse: isolating the woman, controlling who she can spend time with

Cultural Abuse: putting down her culture, claiming his culture is superior

Emotional Abuse: invalidating my feelings, being jealous, waking me up in the middle of the night

Intellectual Abuse: claiming superior intelligence, correcting me all the time

Financial Abuse: withholding financial information, limiting her access to money, running up debt

Abuse of Pets and Property: threatening to hurt the pet, smashing things

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  1. Hi,

    I was wondering if you have considered system abuse as a type of abuse? E.g using the courts to harrass via frivolous and baseless and excessive drawn out law suits,, using police to harass via false reports, false reports to child protection, etc

  2. Jenny, you are SO right! This is a good idea. Yes, abusive men use “the system” to abuse especially after separation. Thank you for stating that so clearly. I think as we do Groups with women in the Vancouver area, we will suggest that “system abuse” could be one of the pieces of pie on the Power and Control Wheel. When we do the Wheel in Group, we just get women to fill it out so it looks different every time. Thanks so much!

  3. There is also institutional/corporate abuse, at work and in organizations where those with “power over” misuse it to the detriment of those who have no power resulting in being fired, reprimanded, ignored, shamed in front of staff etc.

  4. Yes. This is very true. Abuse can happen in any situation where there is an imbalance of power and the person with power choses to be controlling, hurtful or demeaning. The impact is always huge. Thank you for your comment.

  5. We know is really hard to say anything about abuse. Our advise would be to find someone who has training about abuse and start small. Just say a little and see if you feel believed, supported and affirmed. If you call a woman’s shelter or transition house, they usually have a 24/7 help line and are happy to talk to you. (You don’t have to go to a women’s shelter to receive support from them.) They may also know the names of trained counsellors or of a support group in your community. Abuse is hard to bear and it is confusing. You deserve all the good support you can find for yourself. Karen.

  6. what if you suspect child abuse/fowl play, butt are affraid you might be crying wolf. or reporting something thats not serious. or i’m just being paranoid.

  7. It not just and relationship and can happen by your own family iAm having very hard time because know my mom and dad have my kid they took from me she is 16

  8. Try to find a trusted person to talk this over with. In my experience, usually women’s “guts” are accurate. It is good to not ignore that.

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