Domestic Violence Types and Assessment

Domestic Violence Types and Assessment

What is Domestic Violence?

When we are talking about domestic violence, it does not just indicate physical violence. Domestic violence simply means a behavior that is intended to gain power and control over a spouse, partner, girlfriend, or intimate family member.  It can also be referred to as dating violence, intimate partner abuse, spousal abuse, intimate partner violence, and domestic abuse among others.  Abuse is an acquired behavior.  It does not occur as a result of anger, mental problems, drugs or alcohol or various other forms of known excuses.

Maltreatment that occurs in any romantic relationship is called abuse as described in the aforementioned specific terms. It affects men, women or teen girls, boys and girls, whether in a married or unmarried heterosexual or homosexual relationship. Intimate partner violence may consist of one or more forms and it can include the following emotional, psychological, physical, sexual or economic abuse.  It is referred to as a single person in an intimate relationship making use of any known method to put down otherwise controlling the other.  The following are types of domestic abuse: physical assault, verbal abuse (also known as emotional, mental or psychological abuse), sexual abuse, economic/financial and spiritual abuse. Other forms of intimate partner abuse include Stalking and cyber-stalking.

Different Types of Domestic Violence

When discussing domestic violence, a situation where an abuser physically hurts the victim is imagined. But among the types of domestic violence, physical abuse is just one form of abuse. Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. In the event that you are a victim of domestic violence, it can create feelings of helplessness and even suspicion in you.  Therefore, it is important to understand different signs of abuse to identify the problem and get help.

The majority of cases related to domestic violence have not been reported. Many victims are trying to justify the actions of their abusers and try to convince them that the situation will improve. But remember that family violence is often aggravated. If you have children, keep in mind that when children testify of the situation of domestic violence, they may develop violent behavior later on in life.

Keep in mind that there are ways to protect yourself and other victims.  Lawsuits against the abuser, civil protection orders and bans, police assistance and institutional support. If you recognize one of the following situations in your domestic situation, you may be a victim of domestic violence.

  1. Physical abuse

Physical abuse is a recognizable form of domestic violence. This includes the use of force against the victim, resulting into injuries (for example a punch or a kick stabbing, shooting, choking, slapping, and forcing the use of drugs on you among others). Do not forget that injury does not have to be significant. Taking into consideration, for instance, when your abuser slaps you several times that may result in only minor injuries, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t report it.  Can this be referred to as domestic violence? Yes. That slap you received from your abuser could still be regarded as domestic violence.

  1. Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse involves destroying the victim’s self-esteem and causing insult, humiliation or criticism. Emotional abuse can be a type of domestic violence that many people can hardly understand.  This is because it seems to be quite common in unhealthy relationships. Being a victim, you understand that in most states emotional abuse is not enough to result in domestic violence, unless abuse is so persistent and so significant that the relationship can be described as being very compulsive. The most common evidence of emotional abuse is combined with other abuses (physical, financial, sexual or psychological) to result in a domestic violence action.

  1. Sexual abuse

This is another common type of domestic violence. Sexual abuse can include not only sexual assault and rape, but it can also be harassment.  For example, unwanted contact and other humiliating behaviors. Many victims do not understand how much sexual abuse is interpreted. For example, if you have never been forced to not use contraception (pills, condoms, IUD, etc.) or you have an abortion, you may have been sexually abused. This form of abuse is referred to as a reproductive coercion.

Cases of domestic violence are most often reported due to physical or sexual abuse. Therefore, if you feel you have been sexually abused, you can have a good claim for domestic violence.

  1. Financial Abuse

Among the types of domestic violence, financial abuse can be the least noticeable. This type of domestic violence can take different forms.  For instance, a husband who prevents his wife from going to school to obtain education or working outside the home. Financial abuse is extremely common.  This is especially true when families put their money into common accounts (with a partner having whole control on the account), and there is little or no family support system to provide help. Unlike physical or sexual abuse, financial abuse is simply another form of control, though it is usually less obvious.

Often, the victim entirely depends on his partner to earn money. In the absence of access to money, except through a violent partner, the victim is completely at the mercy of the abuser. The abuser can keep the money for food, clothes, and more.

  1. Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse is essentially a key term for violent behavior, threat or fear. This behavior must be persistent and meaningful. A one-off event will usually not be enough for domestic violence.

A wide range of behavior is psychological abuse. Common examples of such psychological abuse include things like preventing a victim from talking to people unless they have been granted a “permit”.  Preventing a victim from leaving a home.  Threatening a victim of violence or emotional blackmail for acts such as psychological abuse.  Emotional abuse alone may not be sufficient to address domestic violence unless this is particularly serious.


Most domestic abusers have witnessed domestic abuse and domestic violence. They figured out how to think about physical and emotional violence as a substantial method to vent anger and adapt to their internal and their own self-perception of the problem. The modeling that has seen growing up is enhanced as follows:

  • Making use of violence and abuse tactics to solve problems in the past
  • They have established tremendous control over others through the tactic of abuse
  • No one has been arrested or reported to the authorities
Common Triggers That Set Off an Abuser
  • Disagreement with your intimate partner
  • A prolonged period of unemployment
  • Financial issues
  • Obsessed when a partner is threatened with leaving
  • Escalation of anger
  • Humiliation arising from work problems or other perceived failures
  • Jealousy and Envy

Many experts are of the opinion that psychopathology, has grown up in violent and abusive homes.  This makes domestic violence to continue as a generational inheritance. Witnessing violence as a standard or being abused, destroying the child’s confidence in others and compromising the ability to manage their emotions. It creates hostile, dependable and emotionally unstable capacities with profoundly changed develop and maintain healthy relationships.

Another set of specialists are of the view that genetic predisposition plays a role in forming an abuser.  But very few studies provide final information in this regard. There is an epidemic of domestic violence in an environment where traditional beliefs last and place women under the status and personality of people.

The fact still remains that the major causes of domestic abuse are still not well understood, it is very important that the society at large strongly go against the crime of domestic violence and drum support for the laws and social programs set to put an end to the cycle.

How Is Domestic Violence Assessed?

Although it is quite possible to assess whether a man or a woman is abused in his or her relationship, less than one in twenty doctors do so on a regular basis. This trend aggravates the difficulties posed by the victims of intimate partner violence which tend not to publish their victimization. Despite these difficulties, it is clear that the most effective issues for assessing domestic violence are open, as opposed to those that require positive or negative answers.

For example, “How do you and your partner tend to disagree with each other?” versus “Does your spouse hit, demean, or over-control you?”.  Inquiries that are not direct, concerning such things as how many emergency room visits, injuries or accidents that have suffered this year, will probably get an immediate response.  This is related to the direct questions about the cause of each injury.  As with any sensitive or potentially painful topic, issues pertaining to domestic violence receives a sincere reaction when the respondent is only professional, unlike his partner (potential aggressor), the child or some other member of his family amid discussion.

What is the Prognosis for Domestic Violence?

Since the prediction for victims of intimate partner violence is better for those with a strong support system, encouraging supportive participation is often considered. Improving support for families endangered by violence can even reduce the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is often associated intimate partner abuse.

Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (GLBT), who are abused in intimate relationships, face multiple obstacles to getting help.  The wrong idea that the victims of domestic violence in the GLBT family are involved in mutually abusing each other, or that abuse is part of what some see as inherently dysfunctional relationships.  This can bring health professionals and law enforcement to fail to respond properly to GLBT abuse sufferers.  In some cases, you may need a lawyer to intervene and help you fight for your rights and protection.  The level of inexperience attributed to a specialist as regards the management of intimate partner violence in GLBT relations can also have an effect on the victims and abusers who get appropriate and timely interventions.

If you feel you are in danger or need help, there are hotlines available to give you the support you need.

Support Questions