Many terms (domestic violence, battering, relationship violence, spouse abuse, wife beating) have been used to describe the pattern of coercive and abusive tactics employed by one partner in a relationship to gain power and control over the other partner. Relationship violence can take many forms including physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, and emotional, sexual or economic abuse. These include the following behaviors:

Verbal Abuse

  • Name Calling
  • Threatening Language
  • Intimidating Language

Emotional Abuse

  • Criticizing
  • Displaying jealousy
  • Using public humiliation
  • Putting down the partner
  • Isolating
  • Dominating
  • Using the children

Financial Abuse

  • Controlling the money
  • Concealing joint assets or shared money
  • Keeping their partner impoverished
  • Blowing money

Physical Abuse

  • Pushing
  • Slapping
  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Choking
  • Pulling hair
  • Biting
  • Using Weapons
  • Tying their partner up
  • Locking their partner in a room

Sexual Abuse

  • Raping
  • Physically attacking sexual parts
  • Forcing their partner to perform sexual acts
  • Forcing their partner to watch others perform sexual acts
  • Refusing to respect decisions about birth control
  • Pursuing sexual activity when the victim is not fully conscious or is asleep
  • Causing physical pain during sex without consent

System Abuse

  • Violating restraining orders
  • Violating child custody agreements
  • Telling lies about their partner to police, court