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Domestic violence can present itself in surprising ways

Many people, including individuals who are potentially experiencing abuse, think that domestic violence only includes physical violence. In reality, there are many ways that domestic violence can present itself, apart from physical aggression.

More than 20 million individuals, both women and men, are victims of physical violence, rape or stalking each year. This breaks down to 24 individuals each minute. Domestic violence is unfortunately very common, which is why it is important to be able to spot less common instances.

Forms of domestic violence

According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, domestic violence often relies on control and can include any behavior that physically harms, provoke fear, block an individual from doing what they want, or force someone to do something they don’t want.

  • Emotional abuse: This type of abuse often presents itself in the way of controlling behavior, such as obsessive monitoring of texts, calls and invasions of privacy. Similarly, a partner may withhold affection or use put-downs in an attempt to control the other’s actions.
  • Sexual abuse: Rape is a common form of sexual abuse, but not the only one. Demanding sex, insulting in a sexual manner and forcing you to behave in a sexual way are all forms of this type of domestic violence.
  • Financial abuse: Controlling one’s spending or allowance, withholding access to bank accounts, not allowing an individual to work and stealing one’s identity are all forms of financial abuse.
  • Psychological abuse: This type of domestic violence can present itself in subtle ways, such as isolation, brainwashing, humiliation. This type of abuse often results in lack of self-esteem or independence.
  • Physical abuse: Possibly the most common form of domestic violence, this includes: hurting with hands or weapons, withholding food or water, denying one’s need to visit the doctor.

Domestic violence that presents itself in ways other than physical violence can be difficult to spot, especially if it is a common occurrence. If you believe that you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence, it may be wise to contact a hotline, lawyer or law enforcement.

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