Forms of abuse include emotional / psychological, physical, sexual. We also believe there is a set of social conditions that allows for abuse to exist.
Emotional / psychological abuse…
...accompanies and frequently precedes physical abuse. It affects victim’s sense of self and of reality. It is typically manifested as verbal and behavioral abuse.
Emotional / psychological abuse includes:
- ignoring the victim’s feelings
- withholding approval as a form of punishment
- putting down the victim’s abilities as a parent, lover, worker
- telling the victim about own sexual affairs
- demanding all the victim’s attention
- creating and maintaining economic dependency
- withholding money
- isolating from social contacts
- humiliation in front of family members, others
- blaming the victim for own misfortunes and mistakes
- hostile jokes about the victim’s gender
- threats of physical violence and retaliation, of abuse of children or of getting custody of children
...begins with relatively minor assaults and grows more violent and targeted with repetition. It sometimes involves denying medical treatment for injuries or wounds resulting from abuse.
Physical abuse includes:
- using objects to perpetrate violence
- using weapons (brass knuckles, knives, guns)
...is the use of emotional, psychological and physical violence in sexual relations.
Sexual abuse includes:
- forcing sexual contact
- forcing intercourse
- using blackmail in sexual relations
- using sex as a reward or punishment
- rape, including between spouses
Social conditions of abuse…
...create an environment where abuse can take place more easily than if these conditions did not exist. These conditions include:
- rigid gender roles.
- popular myths: Cinderella vs. Prince Charming, white wedding, Beauty and the Beast.
- gender-based economic dependency.
- gender-based glass ceiling.
- objectification: “lookism”, pornography.