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Types of Domestic Violence

Posted by Ken Barrett | Nov 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

Learn more about the different types of domestic violence acts that can occur.

These days it's practically impossible to turn on the news or read a newspaper without hearing about some sort of domestic violence dispute occurring somewhere. However, many people are unaware of what actually equates to domestic violence. Domestic violence is most commonly child abuse, the abuse of a spouse or partner, and elder abuse. While there are a variety of actions that can be deemed domestic violence, we're explaining some of the most common ones below. They include physical abuse, verbal or nonverbal abuse, sexual abuse, stalking or cyberstalking, economic abuse or financial abuse, and spiritual abuse. 

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is defined as the use of physical force against another person that results in injury or puts the other person at risk for injuries. This kind of physical abuse can occur inside or outside the family, but most commonly involves spouses or domestic partners. There are a variety of actions that fall under the category of physical abuse.

The following actions are deemed physical abuse: pushing, kicking, throwing, slapping, grabbing, punching, beating, bruising, choking, or shaking. Biting, restraining, confinement, and breaking bones are also examples. Physical abuse can range in severity, so it also includes assault with a weapon, burning, and murder. Of course, there are other actions that are considered physical abuse, but these are the most common examples.

Verbal or Nonverbal Abuse

Your first thought when you think of domestic abuse is probably some sort of physical altercation. However, verbal and nonverbal abuse is just as serious and is therefore considered a form of domestic violence. Although it may not physically harm another person, this type of abuse is still damaging to the victim emotionally. It includes any kind of psychological abuse, mental abuse, or emotional abuse.

There are many actions that fall under the verbal or nonverbal abuse category. Some of those actions include: threatening another person, destruction of a victim's personal property or threats to do so, yelling and screaming, name-calling, constant harassment, excessive possessiveness or checking-up on the victim, saying hurtful things, criticizing a victim, blaming the victim for how the abuser feels, or instilling a fear of further violence. There are many other actions that are considered to be verbal or nonverbal abuse, but it's clear that all of these things are still detrimental to a person's health and safety even though they don't include physical contact.

Sexual Abuse

There are three main forms of sexual abuse, which are sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation. Sexual assault is the act of forcing someone to participate in an unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity. Ridiculing another person in an attempt to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices is considered sexual harassment. Sexual exploitation is forcing someone to look at pornography or forcing someone to participate in the making of pornography.

Stalking or Cyberstalking

Stalking is considered the repetitive harassment or threatening of another person. This type of behavior typically effects the victim physically or emotionally. Stalking can take place both in-person and over the phone or online. In most cases, stalking happens at or near the victim's home, workplace, or in another public environment. As mentioned, stalking can also include harassment over the phone or online (cyberstalking).

The following behaviors are some examples of stalking: repeated phone calls, following or tracking another person, watching someone via the use of hidden cameras, showing up at the victim's home, school, or workplace unannounced, sending unwanted packages or cards via the postal service, contacting the victim's friends or family to find out about them, threatening the victim or his/her family, or damaging the victim's property in any way.

Cyberstalking has become increasingly common in this internet-age, especially due to the use of social media. Using the internet to stalk another person via email or social media is considered cyberstalking and can warrant a domestic violence charge.

Economic Abuse or Financial Abuse

Economic abuse or financial abuse most commonly occurs between spouses or domestic partners, as they often share financial responsibilities. This type of abuse includes withholding economic resources such as money or credit cards from another person. Stealing from or defrauding a partner of money or other assets or exploiting a domestic partner's resources for personal gain are also included in this type of abuse. You can also be charged with economic abuse for withholding physical resources from someone, such as food, clothes, medications, or shelter or preventing that person from working or choosing their own occupation.

Spiritual Abuse

Another form of domestic violence is spiritual abuse. This type of abuse can be damaging to another person both mentally and emotionally. Spiritual abuse includes: using the spouse's or intimate partner's religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate them, preventing the partner from practicing their religious or spiritual beliefs, ridiculing the other person's religious or spiritual beliefs, or forcing the children to be reared in a faith that the partner has not agreed to.

About the Author

Ken Barrett

Attorney Kensley Barrett is a skilled criminal defense lawyer with a proven track record in handling a wide range of cases in Rhode Island. Known for his strong background in trial advocacy and negotiation, Barrett is dedicated to providing personalized and effective representation for his clients. Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and with a 10.0 "Superb" rating on Avvo, he consistently achieves successful outcomes, including acquittals, dismissals, and reduced charges.


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Kensley Barrett

Our law firm was founded on the belief that working with us is more than just hiring a lawyer. Working with us will bring you peace of mind and also allow you to continue with your regular life while we attend to your legal matters. Our vast experience means that it allows us to excel in both aggressively representing your interests and generating the best possible result for you.