Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviour which involves violence or other abuse by one person in a domestic context against another. Domestic violence can take place in heterosexual or same sex relationships. It is customary that a female partner is more commonly the victim of domestic violence. However the victim can also be the male partner, or both partners may engage in abusive or violent behaviour, or the victim may act in self-defence or reprisal.

Types of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is broadly classified into:

  1. Physical Abuse

  2. Psychological abuse

  3. Sexual Abuse

  4. Financial Abuse

  5. Identity Abuse

The categories are not exclusive. Some abusive tactics may fit into more than one category. A threat of physical harm, for example, could be seen as emotional abuse and as physical abuse.

Physical Abuse is when someone hurts or injures you on purpose. It is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Physical abuse is the most visible form of abuse.

Effects of Physical abuse:

  • Anxiousness.

  • Depressed.

  • Isolated existence.

  • Self-harm or run away.

  • Low self-esteem.

  • Insomnia.

  • Numb from your feelings.


Psychological abuse or emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It is a regular abominable behaviour shown by someone towards you that topple your emotional balance. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. Emotional abuse can take many forms. Three general patterns of abusive behaviour include aggressive, denying, and minimizing.

Effects of Physical abuse:

  • Psychological trauma.

  • Anxiety.

  • Chronic depression.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Hurt very deeply.

  • Loose confidence and self esteem.

Sexual abuse is any sort of non-consensual sexual contact. It is an unwanted sexual activity, with assailant using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent. Sexual abuse can happen to men or women of any age. Most victims and assailant know each other.

Effects of Sexual abuse:

  • A noticeable fear of a person or certain places.

  • Shock and disbelief.

  • Anxiety.

  • Post-Traumatic stress disorder.

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

  • Sick memories of the past trauma.

While efforts to treat sex offenders remain unpromising, psychological interventions for survivors, especially group therapy, appears effective.

Financial abuse is a common tactic used by abusers to gain power and control in a relationship. It includes misuse of a person’s funds and assets, obtaining property and funds without victims knowledge and full consent, or in the case of an elderly person who is not competent, not in his/her best interests.
This is also known as material abuse. Financial or material abuse can involve the theft or misuse of a person’s money or property.

Effects of Financial abuse:

  • Damaged credit ratings.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • Clinical depression.

  • Anxiety.

  • Phobias.

  • Legal and employment issues.

  • The thought of suicide.

Identity abuse or identity theft is a form of stealing someone’s identity to gain access to resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person’s name. The victim of identity abuse will have to suffer adverse consequences if they are held responsible for the abuser’s actions. Some of these tactics overlap with other forms of abuse, particularly emotional abuse.

Effects of Identity abuse:

  • Emotionally scared.

  • Feels violated and helpless.

  • Terrified of losing their life savings and their homes.

  • All the consequences of the crimes committed by the abuser in the victim’s name.

Domestic violence will have an adverse effect on a victim’s life. It creates a feeling of hopelessness and distress due to the dominance of another person in his/her life. The feeling of being unwanted and unworthy for a better life haunts the survivor frequently.

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