Forms of Abuse

Five Basic Forms of Domestic Abuse
that Adults, Teens, Children and the Elderly Can Experience
(remember, this is not an exhaustive list and there are
many more forms of abuse under each category)
Verbal and Mental/Psychological Abuse:
Includes name calling, demeaning in private or public, threats of harm, using intimidation, isolating from family and friends, forcing financial dependence, and controlling where the other person can go and what s/he can do, denying access to help (including 9-1-1).
Another form of mental/psychological abuse is stalking. Stalking refers to harassing or threatening behavior that is engaged in repeatedly. Such harassment can be either physical stalking or cyberstalking. Physical stalking is following someone, appearing at a person’s home, place of business or other places unexpectedly, making harassing phone calls - either leaving a message or silence on other end of the phone, leaving written messages or objects, following you, or vandalizing one’s property. If you are currently in a relationship, it can also include keeping track of your whereabouts, monitoring phone calls, hiring an investigator to track you, tracking your cell phone activity or tracking you using a GPS. Cyberstalking involves using the Internet or other electronic means to harass or to watching or track your on-line activity. NOTE: Most law enforcement agencies takes stalking very seriously, so if you are being stalked, please take it seriously and report it to the authporities.

Physical Abuse:
Includes shoving, pushing, pinching, grabbing, restraining, hitting, kicking or pulling hair. Any touch against a person’s choice. Financial abuse can also be a form of physical abuse.

Sexual Abuse:
Includes forcing or coercing sexual acts, which are unwanted or declined; viewing or forcing the other to view pornography; making degrading and/or demeaning sexual comments. Sexual comments about childrens' bodies or development.

Property and Pets:
Destruction of property, which may include household objects or treasured objects, hitting or punching the walls, or abusing or killing beloved pets or giving them away.

Spiritual Abuse:
Includes misuse of Scripture and Biblical teachings to justify abuse; tells her that women are less than or not as important as men, or that God does not care or that she is not a good Christian; says she is abused because she is not submissive enough (based on his definition of submission, not God's), or that the Bible justifies abusive treatment; interferes with her ability to worship God and/or her relationship with the Lord. With children, it is also using Scripture or Biblical teachings to degrade, punish or justify cruel or excessive discipline.
If you are being victimized by abuse, it is not your fault! Only the abuser is responsible for the abusive acts. You cannot be a good enough wife or husband or girlfriend or boyfriend or daughter or son to make it stop. God cares about you and does not want you to suffer harm. If you are a person who is abusive, then you can stop. You can choose not to wield power over another person. God has all the power in the world yet He allows us to choose for ourselves.
We are all made in the image of God, every man, woman and child, and
no one has the right to abuse the image of God… NO ONE!
God cares about each of us, God wants us to love each other rightly, but sometimes we need help to know what that means or looks like. Please know that there is help, there is hope and there is healing in the arms of our Lord. Scripture says we are to come to Him as little children… whether you are being abused or are abusing someone, we just need to reach up to Him and as little children say, “Papa, help!” He will.
If you need help or further information, please contact us (at or the
National Domestic Violence Hotline at