Be Her First Step

Be her first step away from domestic violence by learning about it. Only then can you be a helping hand in addressing the many forms it takes.

Domestic violence can take many forms

Read below to learn more about each of them.

Domestic violence can take many forms

Read below to learn more about each of them.

Verbal Abuse

Verbal Abuse

A type of emotional abuse in which a person uses words, body language or behavior to cause emotional pain or distress to another person. With verbal abuse, the abuser uses words as a way to exert control and dominance over their partner.

Examples

Examples of verbal abuse include: 

  1. Gaslighting (a type of abuse that uses statements to create doubt).
  2. Name-calling.
  3. Making crude marks or put-downs.
  4. Yelling and screaming.
  5. Making threats or spreading rumors.

Statistics

Important statistics and facts about verbal abuse include:

  1. One in five college women have been verbally abused by a dating partner.
  2. One in four dating teens is abused or harassed online or through texts by their partner.
  3. Survivors of digital abuse and harassment are two times as likely to be physically abused, 2.5 times as likely to be psychologically abused and 5 times as likely to be sexually coerced.

Warning Signs

Warning signs of verbal abuse include:

  1. Partner constantly criticizes or insults, humiliates and even ignores.
  2. Partner minimizes experiences.
  3. Partner doesn’t support or makes derogatory comments about the things they love.

How to Help

Ways to help someone who may be experiencing verbal abuse include:

  1. Acknowledge that the victim is in a very difficult and scary situation, and then be supportive and listen.
  2. Be non-judgmental.
  3. Regardless of if they end the relationship, continue to be supportive.
  4. Encourage them to participate in activities outside of the relationship with friends and family.
  5. Help them develop a safety plan.
  6. Encourage them to talk to people who can provide help and guidance.

Financial Abuse

Financial Abuse

Making or attempting to make a person financially dependent, e.g., maintaining total control over financial resources and withholding access to money are some forms of financial abuse (also called economic abuse).

Examples

Examples of financial abuse include:

  1. Sabotaging employment opportunities.
  2. Forbidding partner from working.
  3. Controlling how money is spent.
  4. Denying direct access to bank accounts.

Statistics

Important statistics and facts about financial abuse include:

  1. 99% of domestic violence cases include financial abuse. Partners are prevented from acquiring, using and/or maintaining financial resources. Without financial resources, it is impossible for survivors to “just walk away” from their abuser.
  2. Nearly eight in 10 Americans (78%) say they haven’t heard much about financial abuse as it relates to domestic violence. Additionally, Americans believe that financial abuse is the least likely (3%) form of abuse to be recognized by an outsider.
  3. 65% of survey respondents don’t believe that their family or friends would know if they were in a financially abusive relationship. 70% say they wouldn’t know how to help them.
  4. Only 39% of women have taken steps in their own relationship to protect themselves from financial abuse.

Warning Signs

Warning signs of financial abuse include:

  1. Being on a “budget” (can’t spend money without partner’s permission).
  2. Not being allowed to work (partner wants them at home).
  3. Always paying in cash (potentially a sign that they’re trying to avoid partner tracking their finances).
  4. Seems to be in the dark (signs papers, agreements and tax returns without knowing what they are).

How to Help

Ways to help someone you believe may be experiencing financial abuse include:

  1. Help the victim make an exit plan.
  2. Suggest that they document the situation.
  3. Help them create an emergency fund.
  4. Suggest that they establish credit in their own name.

Physical Abuse

Physical Abuse

Non-accidental use of force that results in bodily injury, pain or impairment. This includes, but is not limited to, being slapped, burned, cut, bruised or improperly physically restrained.

Examples

Examples of physical abuse include:

  1. Punching, hitting, kicking.
  2. Driving recklessly.
  3. Using weapons.
  4. Attempting to kill.
  5. Abusing children.

Statistics

Important statistics and facts about physical abuse include:

  1. Two out of five Hispanic women in Texas report experiencing severe abuse.
  2. 38% of Texas women experience family violence in their lifetime.
  3. More than 100 Texas women are killed each year due to intimate partner violence.
  4. A woman is assaulted every nine seconds.
  5. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes.
  6. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury for women ages 15 to 44.
  7. 21 LGBT people were killed by their partners in 2013.
  8. 9.4% of high school students report physical abuse by their significant others.
  9. Intimate partner violence alone affects over 12 million people each year.
  10. Nearly one in four women experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.

Warning Signs

Warning signs of physical abuse include:

  1. Physical symptoms such as bruises, burns, bite marks.
  2. Fear of disagreeing with partner.
  3. Chronic headaches, fatigue or stomach pain; pelvic pain; or vaginal or urinary tract infections.
  4. Signs of depression.
  5. Abuse of alcohol and/or drugs.

How to Help

Ways to help someone you believe may be experiencing physical abuse include:

  1. Acknowledge that the victim is in a very difficult and scary situation, and then be supportive and listen.
  2. Be non-judgmental.
  3. Regardless of if they end the relationship, continue to be supportive.
  4. Encourage them to participate in activities outside of the relationship with friends and family.Help them develop a safety plan.
  5. Encourage them to talk to people who can provide help and guidance.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse

An attempt to control, in just the same way that physical abuse is an attempt to control another person. The only difference is that the emotional abuser does not use physical hitting, kicking, pinching, grabbing, pushing or other physical forms of harm.

Examples

Examples of emotional abuse include:

  1. Using shaming and belittling language.
  2. Withholding affection.
  3. Refusing to communicate at all.
  4. Constantly criticizing.
  5. Displaying passive-aggressive behavior.

Statistics

Important statistics and facts about emotional abuse include:

  1. More women experience emotional abuse than physical violence.
  2. 35% of women who are or have been married or in a common-law relationship have experienced emotional abuse.
  3. The lack of accessible, affordable housing, inadequate income support, legal aid and day care can prevent a woman from having the resources to live free from abuse. As a result of these and other barriers, an emotionally abused woman usually leaves her partner an average of five times before ending her relationship.

Warning Signs

Warning signs of emotional abuse include:

  1. Loss of confidence.
  2. Crying often.
  3. Canceling plans with friends and family often or always bringing partner along.
  4. Being secretive about relationship.
  5. Seeming disengaged with old habits.

How to Help

Ways to help someone you believe may be experiencing emotional abuse include:

  1. Gather information about emotional abuse and the resources available.
  2. Recognize that emotional abuse has as much, if not more, of an impact on a victim’s overall health and well-being as physical violence.
  3. Assure the victim that you believe them and that you take emotional abuse seriously.
  4. Do not blame them or make excuses for their partner.
  5. Support them to be safe and ask them how you can help.
  6. Respect their decisions and support them if they stay. A victim may not want to leave their partner, even if you think that’s what’s best for them.

Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual Abuse

The mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment.

Examples

Examples of spiritual abuse include:

  1. Using religious texts or beliefs to minimize or rationalize abusive behaviors.
  2. Ridiculing or insulting another person’s religious or spiritual beliefs.
  3. Preventing a partner from practicing their religious or spiritual beliefs.
  4. Using a partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate or shame them.
  5. Forcing children to be raised in a faith that the partner has not agreed to.
  6. Having polygamous relationships.

Statistics

According to national statistics, one in every four women will experience some tactic of spiritual, emotional, physical, psychological or sexual abuse from a male intimate partner in her lifetime.

Warning Signs

Warning signs of spiritual abuse include:

  1. Distortion in standards of honor, respect and authority.
  2. Being driven into submission through fear and shame.
  3. Minimizing partner’s sins and weaknesses while maximizing own sins and weaknesses.
  4. Being in an internal bubble/isolated from family, friends.

How to Help

Ways to help someone who may be experiencing spiritual abuse include:

  1. Make the safety of the victim and children top priority.
  2. Hold the abuser accountable.
  3. Listen to and believe the victim’s story.
  4. Accompany them to court hearings.
  5. Help establish a safety plan.
  6. Seek education and training.

Make the Decision to Be Her First Step

At Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, we’re creating a societal shift on how people think about domestic violence. In order to end it, domestic violence can’t be tolerated any longer, and it’s up to everyone to help. It will take all facets of society working together and spreading the same message to effectively end domestic violence.

Sources and More Information

Spiritual Abuse

https://rickthomas.net/a-few-signs-of-spiritual-abuse-from-a-pastor/

http://www.thehotline.org/2015/11/12/what-is-spiritual-abuse/

https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/264319.pdf

http://markdejesus.com/14-signs-spiritual-abuse/

Emotional Abuse

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/traversing-the-inner-terrain/201609/when-is-it-emotional-abuse

http://www.springtideresources.org/resource/emotional-abuse-women-male-partners-facts

https://www.romper.com/p/how-to-tell-if-a-friend-is-in-emotionally-abusive-relationship-17710

http://www.springtideresources.org/resource/responding-emotional-abuse-how-you-can-help-someone-you-know

Physical Abuse

https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/adult-physical-abuse/what-is-physical-abuse/

http://www.thefirststep.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Types-of-abuse-and-examples.pdf

https://www.genesisshelter.org

http://www.refinery29.com/domestic-violence-statistics-2017

http://www.thehotline.org/help/help-for-friends-and-family/

https://www.womenslaw.org/about-abuse/forms-abuse/financial-abuse

http://purplepurse.com/get-the-facts/about-domestic-violence/statistics

Financial Abuse

http://purplepurse.com/get-the-facts/about-the-allstate-foundation/financial-abuse-survey

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mayakachroolevine/2017/09/25/financial-abuse-how-to-identify-it-and-what-you-can-do-to-help/#3de405c4429b

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/7-ways-to-help-victims-of-financial-abuse-break-free_us_59e751d3e4b0153c4c3ec41e

Verbal Abuse

https://www.morningsiderecovery.com/blog/understanding-verbal-abuse/

https://www.domesticshelters.org/domestic-violence-articles-information/10-patterns-of-verbal-abuse#.Wm1c5JM-c0o

http://www.lifehack.org/579285/verbal-abuse

http://www.thehotline.org/resources/statistics/

https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/verbal-abuse/verbal-abuse-signs-and-symptoms-cause-emotional-pain/

http://www.thehotline.org/help/help-for-friends-and-family/