PHYSICAL ABUSE – for example pushing, hitting, punching, choking, kicking, biting, spitting, burning and using weapons, restraining; giving too much medication or the wrong medication; assault with everyday implements such as kitchen knives; smashing someone’s possessions; imprisoning them; or forcing them to use illegal drugs as a way of blackmailing and controlling them. Female Genital Mutilation.
This type of abuse is an intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person. Incidents of violence may vary in severity and harm. The cycle of abuse involves an increase in tension in the relationship, leading to an ‘incident’, followed by the abuser’s desire to reconcile and maybe with an apology and a promise never to lash out again and there is then a time of calm or the ‘honeymoon’ period. Sadly however, this pattern keeps on repeating with the victim put at risk of serious harm or worse.
SEXUAL ABUSE – for example rape including marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence, treating one in a sexually demeaning manner, being forced to participate in sexual acts including looking at sexual material.
Sexual abuse is any behaviour of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent or understanding. Various forms of force may be used – physical, psychological or emotional coercion, manipulation and threats of harm, intimidation to make the victim comply (compliance is NOT consent) and which can also take place online.
Domestic ‘violence’ is often but wrongly thought of as physical abuse. Violence comes from the word violate. Abuse is the mis-use of something in a harmful way.