10 Different Types of Domestic Abuse (And How to Protect Yourself)

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Recognizing when someone is harming you and seeking help after the fact is one of the hardest things you can do, but everyone has the right to be safe and free from abuse. If you’re unsure if you’re in an abusive relationship or how to seek help, this article will answer these questions.

What if You’re Arrested for Assault, but It Was Self-Defense?

In some cases, the abusive party may charge the abused party after they choose to fight back, and assault is no laughing matter. Aggravated assault is a serious charge that could land the accused in jail for many years, and it can be difficult to face this challenging experience alone.

However, if you were arrested for assault but acted in self-defense to protect yourself, hire the best lawyer for aggravated assault defense in the New Jersey Area. The lawyers at Marshall Criminal Defense & DWI will treat your care with the care and compassion it deserves.

10 Different Types of Domestic Abuse and Common Signs

Intimate partner violence can occur in many forms, and no matter what it looks like, abuse tends to escalate and worsen over time—all types of abuse work on a system of power and control.

Here are 10 different types of abuse and their common signs:

  • Physical Abuse

Hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, strangulation, burning, property damage, controlling medication, reducing medical care, use of weapons

  • Sexism Abuse

Hostile sexism (insults, sexual assault), benevolent sexism (assumptions based on gender norms), ambivalent sexism (glorifying traditional behaviors), institutional sexism, interpersonal sexism, internalized sexism

  • Emotional Abuse

Name calling, jealousy, blaming, shaming, intimidation, isolation, humiliation, controlling what the partner does or says, stalking, insulting

  • Immigration Abuse

Destroying immigration papers, threatening to hurt the person’s family, threatening deportation, restricting partners from learning a new language

  • Sexual Abuse

Forcing partner to have sex with known individuals or strangers, hurting the partner during sex, pursuing sexual activity when the victim can’t consent or is afraid to refuse, sabotaging birth control, coercing partner to have unprotected sex

  • Heterosexism Abuse

Discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or relationship preference that falls beyond the “heterosexual norm,” such as acephobia, biphobia, or transphobia. It can still occur between two heterosexual couples. 

  • Homophobia Abuse

Homophobia directed at the partner. This could happen between heterosexual couples (i.e., accusing the other partner of performing “gay” behaviors) or homosexual couples where one or both parties are experiencing internal homophobia.

  • Use of Children Abuse

Any type of abuse where one parent is using the child to hurt the other. Includes parental alienation and refusal to adhere to child visitation mandates.

  • Financial Abuse

Controlling finances, putting partner on an allowance, damaging partner’s credit score, harassing partner at the workplace, not allowing partner to work

  • Technological Abuse

Hacking into partner’s email or accounts, monitoring interactions on social media, using tracking devices to monitor phone calls, asking for passwords

How to Protect Yourself From Partner Abuse of All Kinds

Abuse is difficult to navigate, but there are things you can do to protect yourself from your partner. Always remember that abuse is never your fault. The person mistreating you is responsible for their behavior, and they need to seek help before they can get better.

Here are some steps to take that can help you protect yourself from partner abuse:

  • Tell someone you trust about the abuse.
  • Create and memorize a list of emergency contacts.
  • Develop a safety plan that outlines your next steps.
  • Use devices with caution (don’t get a separate phone if that triggers an episode).
  • Give the abuser what they want if that helps you protect yourself from further danger.
  • Don’t disturb or turn off monitoring devices (it could alert the abuser)
  • Stay away from dangerous places in the home.
  • Identify escape routes in case behavior escalates.
  • Pack an emergency safety bag (photo IDs, medication, pet food, etc.)
  • Open a separate bank account in your name.
  • Contact the police, an attorney, and a domestic violence agency.
  • Contact a local helpline or community for further support.
  • After leaving, change your routine and inform your children’s school.
  • After leaving, protect your contact information by getting an unlisted number.

While following all of these steps may take time, you’ll eventually be away from your abuser. Once you have some space, you and your family will be able to start the healing process.

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