Relationship violence can take many forms, including physical, psychological, emotional, sexual, and economic abuse:

Physical Abuse

  • Pushing, shoving, slapping, punching, kicking, or strangling
  • Assault with a weapon (gun, knife, furniture)
  • Holding, tying down, or restraining
  • Leaving the partner in a dangerous place
  • Refusing to help when the partner is sick or injured
  • Withholding medicine or treatment from the partner

Psychological/Emotional Abuse

  • Threats of harm to partner or to oneself (suicide)
  • Intimidation (smashing things, destroying his/her property)
  • Physical and social isolation
  • Extreme jealousy and possessiveness
  • Degradation and humiliation
  • Manipulating partner or making partner feel guilty

Sexual Abuse

  • Forcing or attempting to force unwanted sexual acts
  • Pursuing sexual activity when the partner is non fully conscious or asleep
  • Intentionally causing physical pain during sex by using objects or weapons

Economic Abuse

  • Preventing partner from getting or keeping a job
  • Making partner ask or beg for money

The violent partner's behavior is intentional: designed to bring about a desired state of affairs in which the abused partner's will is subordinated to the will of the batterer. In most case, the violence will increase in severity and frequency as time passes.