7 Types of Domestic Abuse, Including One That’s Post-Divorce

Domestic Abuse Including Post Divorce

Domestic abuse is seldom the same in every case, and that’s because there are different types of domestic abuse that torment and plague thousands of people all over the world.

Key Points

  • Recognition of the actions that constitute abuse is the first step toward halting it.
  • Post-divorce parental alienation is not only recognized as a form of abuse, but in many cases becomes the most damaging and long-lasting.
  • Onlookers (usually the children) can suffer lifelong effects from the impact of the trauma on their amygdala.

Clearly, abuse of any type wounds the receiver’s morale, self-image, and often physical self as well. At the same time, abuse of anyone in the family tends to harm everyone, children included.

For example, when Karen was growing up, her father never hit her. Still, watching him berate and batter her mother, and beat also her younger sister, Karen had felt traumatically angry and helpless. Her resultant hyper-reactive emotional system—what some would refer to as an amygdala disorder or maybe even as a borderline personality disorder—has caused her lifelong suffering.

Related: 5 Subtle Signs of Domestic Violence

7 types of domestic abuse

First, a few points to keep in mind:

  • Abuse is seldom constant. It’s generally intermittent, interspersed with other healthier and genuinely loving interactions.
  • Not all abusive spouses use all forms of abuse. Most of them use just a few.
  • Abuse tends to become more severe with stress from external circumstances such as financial problems or alcohol.
  • Far too often, receivers of abuse cripple their ability to stop the abuse by engaging in wishful thinking: “Oh, it’s only…” or “He doesn’t really mean it” or “He promised he won’t do it again.”

With these warnings in mind, which of the following seven types of abuse could be possibilities in your family?

1. Control. 

A spouse’s attempts to control the partner’s behavior, friends, dressing style, finances, or activities can be a first sign of more abuse potentially lying ahead. Control generally involves telling the partner what she or he can or should not do—enhanced with criticism, threats, and anger.

Controlling behaviors chip away at the receiver’s self-esteem. In addition, by controlling who the spouse can spend time with, an abusive person can isolate their victim from potential supportive friends and relatives until he or she becomes the main or only person in the victim’s world.

Related: How To Deal With An Overly Controlling Partner

2. Emotional manipulation. 

The intent of guilt, criticism, anger, and similarly manipulative behaviors may be to hurt the spouse as well as to force compliance. A spouse who attacks the partner’s vulnerabilities threatens to leave or withholds affection and approval as punishment is being emotionally abusive.

Repeated infidelity also falls under emotionally abusive relationship behavior.

3. Verbal abuse. 

Words, and also a negative tone of voice, can’t hurt a spouse’s feelings, lower their self-esteem, and erode a sense of personal safety. Demeaning, insulting, or humiliating comments in private, and even worse in front of others, can be strongly emotionally damaging.

Telling hurtful “jokes” about you despite your discomfort and requests to stop, name-calling, swearing, insults, questioning your sanity, or ridiculing your opinions/desires all use words to cause harm.

types of domestic abuse
Types of domestic abuse

4. Sexual abuse. 

Until recently, unwanted or forced sex within marriage was not considered rape. Married victims of sexual abuse still face considerable stigma when coming forward with their sexually abusive relationships.

Sexual abuse includes unwanted sex, withholding sex, forced engagement in any sexual activity that frightens or hurts you, refusing to practice safe sex, or preventing you from using birth control or making decisions about pregnancy/abortion.

Related: Lady Gaga – Oprah Interview: The Lasting Effects Of Sexual Assault

5. Physical violence. 

If your partner has physically touched you, hit you, slapped you, punched you, or pushed you, it is critical that you recognize that this is physical abuse. Such abuse tends to become worse over time, so removing yourself and your children from a violent partner may be essential.

Other forms of physical abuse include beating, choking, pinning you down, spitting on you, abandoning you in dangerous places, driving at high speeds, toying with dangerous situations to intimidate you, and refusing to help you when you are sick, injured, or pregnant.

6. Financial abuse. 

In a healthy relationship, the partners discuss major financial decisions collaboratively, with both partners’ opinions counting.

In addition, both partners have independent decision-making authority for everyday purchases. Financial abuse occurs when one partner usurps the control.

Types of domestic abuse

7. Parental alienation. 

Children need to receive love from and to feel loving toward both of their parents. If one spouse makes subtle innuendos or even overt comments that result in turning the children against the other parent, these behaviors are called parental alienation. Such behaviors can occur within a marriage. They harm both the children and the targeted parent.

After a divorce, however, such behaviors may begin to include blocking the children from their court-ordered time with the other parent. That’s how parental alienation can slide from mild, or moderate to severe.

At any level, however, alienating children from the other parent by expressing negative attitudes that convey that children should disrespect and dislike the other, distorting information so that small problematic incidents are blown up into signs of severe bad behavior toward the children, telling outright falsehoods about that parent to induce fright or hatred of the parent is now considered one of the most serious forms of abuse.

Related: Parental Alienation Syndrome: What Is It, And Who Does It?

How can you find help as soon as possible?

A two-pronged approach can best help you to recognize abuse of any kind:

  1. Learn what healthy marital behavior looks like. In my Power of Two book and workbookI clarify the full set of skills that enable healthy couples to enjoy a long, strong, loving, and safe partnership.
  2. Study up so you recognize immediately any actions by yourself or your partner that might constitute abuse or that you are beginning to head down the road toward abusive interacting.

When it comes to abuse, ignorance can be dangerous. Information is power. Get it.

Want to know more about the different types of domestic abuse? Check this video out below!

Types of domestic abuse and signs

Written By Susan Heitler  
Originally Appeared On Psychology Today  
Domestic Abuse Post Divorce
Domestic Abuse Including Post Divorce pin
Ads

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

The Emotionally Absent Mother: Overcoming Her Legacy And Healing From The Wounds

The Emotionally Absent Mother: Healing From The Wounds

Having an emotionally absent mother can take a heavy toll on your mental and emotional well-being, and that too from a very young age. This article is going to explore what it means to have an emotionally unavailable mother, how her emotional absence can affect you and how to heal from it and move on.

Growing up with a mother who wasn’t emotionally available may have complicated your relationship with your emotions. Our early experiences of emotional attunement play an important part in the subsequent regulation of our emotions.

An emotionally absent mother may fail to develop the kind of satisfying attachment bonds in her children that make sustaining ordinary relationships possible.



Up Next

Is It Love Or A Trap? 10 Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing

Ominous And Warning Signs Of Love Bombing: Love Or Trap?

Have you ever experienced the turbulent side of love, that comes from falling head over heels for someone? The butterflies in your stomach, the passion you feel, and the feeling of being swept off your feet – feels amazing, doesn’t it? But what if I told you that behind this seemingly perfect façade lies something dark and sinister? What if I told you these are warning signs of love bombing?

Welcome to the dark world of love bombing; a psychological tactic used by manipulative people to gain control over your mind and heart. In this article, we will talk about what does love bombing mean, and the signs you are being love bombed.

Let’s get started first with what does love bombing mean, shal



Up Next

Surviving Toxic Friendships: 15 Shocking Signs Of An Abusive Friend You Can’t Afford To Ignore

Signs of an Abusive Friend: Surviving Toxic Friendships

Do you feel like your BFF is jealous of you? Do they constantly criticize and always try to influence your decisions? Are they always around when they need a favor from you, but immediately disappear when you need support? Then it is likely you have a toxic, abusive friend. Let us explore the signs of an abusive friend and how to deal with an abusive friend.

A friendship is one of the most authentic and purest forms of relationships we can experience as it is not bound by blood or any compulsion. Friendships are born out of mutual respect, support, companionship and happiness. Our friends support us and pick us up when we are down and guide us when we stray too far.

However, some individuals use the mask of friendship simply to exploit, dominate and abuse us. They pretend to be our friends as long as we are of use to them and freque



Up Next

The Playbook Of Deceit: 11 Narcissistic Games Used To Torment You

Narcissistic Games Used To Torment: Playbook Of Deceit

Have you ever encountered someone that made you question your own sanity? Or found yourself caught in a web of manipulation, unsure of how you got there? If so, then you may have encountered a narcissist and have been a victim of narcissistic games.

Narcissists are masters at psychological games. A charming smile hides their darker agenda as they play several mind games to control and exploit you. These mind games narcissists play can be psychologically damaging, without you even realizing it at times.

In this article, we’ll unravel 11 narcissistic games, exposing all their tactics, so that you don’t fall



Up Next

Under The Narcissistic Veil: The Struggles Of Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers

Sons Of Narcissistic Mothers: Understanding Their Struggles

Having a narcissistic mother is, safe to say, one of the most traumatic things to go through. Sons of narcissistic mothers look at the world and relationships in an entirely skewed way, and this is due to the lessons they have learned growing up with a narcissistic mother.

KEY POINTS

The worldview of a young man whose mother has narcissistic personality disorder becomes skewed.

NPD is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy, among other traits.

Once one have been gaslit, they may always suspect the people they are close with may be ho



Up Next

How Men Suffer From The Lack Of Maternal Love And Affection When Raised by Unloving Mothers

How Men Suffer From The Lack Of Maternal Love

It is a commonly accepted belief that motherly love and affection are essential for the healthy development of a child. However, research suggests that a lack of maternal love and affection can have particularly negative effects on men.

According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, men who reported having a lack of maternal love and affection during their childhood were more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety as adults, compared to men who reported having a warm and loving relationship with their mothers.

Similarly, ano



Up Next

Unlocking The Pain Of The Past: 10 Signs Of Repressed Childhood Trauma In Adults

Signs Of Repressed Childhood Trauma In Adults

Ever find yourself reacting strongly to situations and not quite sure why? Either you hear echoes of your past, or it’s probably because you listen to your inner child. In this article, we’re delving into the signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults – those subtle whispers from your younger self that can shape your present.

Picture it like a hidden script influencing your responses. But fear not, understanding these signs of repressed childhood trauma can empower you to reclaim control.

So, grab a metaphorical flashlight as we navigate through the shadows of the past, unveiling the clues that migh