It’s important to understand the types of abuse because it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. It is a serious problem that can result in injury or even death if not prevented or stopped. Abuse is the maltreatment of one individual by another. This maltreatment can take many forms and isn’t always physical in nature. Abuse can have a lasting affect on a person and how they interact with the world. In some cases, children who routinely witness or are subject to abuse may even continue the cycle as adults and be more vulnerable to it or become abusers themselves. Here are five common types of abuse to be aware of.
One of the most common types of abuse, and the most recognizable, is physical abuse. When a person physically harms or endangers another person, regardless of whether it is an adult woman or man, an elderly adult, or a child, it is physical abuse. The abuse can be skin to skin or involve the forcible contact of an object to another’s body. This contact is intentional and unwanted and may or may not leave bruising or cause extreme pain. When someone slaps, punches, kicks, bites or strangles another, it is physical abuse. Throwing objects, pulling or pushing, inappropriately restraining, and grabbing any part of the body are all actions of physical abuse.
When a person receives unwanted sexual contact or behavior from another person, it is sexual abuse. This may involve an adult who abused a child, an employee to another employer, a professor to a student, a doctor to a patient, or even a spouse to a spouse. The person with more authority or power uses their position to take advantage of the victim and engage them in sexual activity or situations that are against their wishes and without consent.
In terms of a child, who is under the age of consent, any sexual action or behavior is child sexual abuse or molestation. Sexual abuse may involve contact such as touching the victim in a sexual manner, voyeurism, forcing the victim to watch pornography, or taking photos of an illicit or sexual nature of the victim. Sexual abuse that involves contact includes rape and fondling or intentionally grabbing or touching another person in a sexual manner without their consent. It’s also a form of physical abuse.
The use of hurtful words to harm, humiliate, or otherwise control the actions and behaviors of another is verbal abuse. Verbal abuse causes the victim to doubt themselves and can be a form of coercion. It can happen anywhere, including work, school, at home, at a park, or in the supermarket, for example. The abuser need not shout or yell when being abusive. They can effectively insult, intimidate, shame, threaten, or demean while whispering or using a normal tone of voice. A verbal abuser often makes derogatory comments about a person’s looks or intelligence. Jokes made at the victim’s expense, sexual statements, and derogatory statements are just a few examples of verbal abuse.
Like verbal abuse, emotional abuse is yet another form of control. In fact, it is often a form of verbal abuse. Of the types of abuse, this one may be the hardest to recognize because it may come across as jokes or concern. This type of attack preys on the emotions and mental well-being of an individual and is also referred to as mental or psychological abuse. Examples of emotional abuse include using silence to hurt, sadden, confuse, or persuade another person to do what one wants.
Teasing someone in a hurtful or manipulative manner or humiliation, alone or in front of others, are other examples. Attempting to shame or dominate another, downgrading one’s feelings and thoughts, isolating someone from friends and family, and treating them as if they are not their own person are all examples of emotional and psychological abuse.
Financial abuse is a form of control that’s similar to emotional abuse. With this type of abuse, a person attempts to control another through monetary means. Actions that are associated with financial abuse include withholding money/credit cards, allowing a person to use only a set amount of money, forbidding a person from making money of their own, and making the victim account for money spent, often down to the penny. Financial abuse also involves withholding things of importance such as clothing, medication, or food. Taking a person’s money on a regular basis is also financial abuse.
The legal definition of neglect may vary from state to state, but in general, when a person that is under the care of another, such as a child, a person with disabilities, or a senior, is not given the care that they require, it is called neglect. This failure to provide the care necessary can lead to emotional and/or physical harm or it can cause a loss of one’s dignity. When it comes to children, neglect can extend to their educational needs as well. Some of the other actions that are related to neglect include, but are not limited to, failure to tend to a person’s medical needs, failure to provide adequate food and/or shelter, permitting an adult or child to do things that are dangerous or against their best interests, and not providing adequate supervision.
Recovering from Types of Abuse
Many types of abuse can wear away at a person’s mental health until they feel alone, scared, and isolated. At Morningside Recovery, we help clients recover from abuse through our mental health treatment, specifically in PTSD treatment, depression treatment, and anxiety treatment. To learn more, call us today at 855-631-2135.