What Are the Most Common Forms of Domestic Violence?

09Aug, 21

Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects people of all genders, races, and sexual orientations. It may be the most common form of violence in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lives from either a partner or family member. Domestic violence spans all social and economic classes. With the staggering number of cases, it is essential to know the different forms of domestic violence and what they look like.

The Most Common Forms of Domestic Violence

While it’s not always easy to determine what constitutes “abuse,” there are some tell-tale signs you should look out for in your relationship. Some of the most common forms of domestic violence include:

Physical Abuse Is the Most Dangerous

Any physical harm inflicted on a partner is physical abuse. It can include slapping, pushing, punching, choking, and more. This form of domestic violence can be the most dangerous because it often escalates and can have serious health-related consequences and damages.

Physical abuse is never okay and should not be tolerated in any relationship. There are many ways to help if you or someone you know is being abused physically by their partner. A few of these include:

  • Finding support from friends or family members
  • Talking with a doctor about getting medical attention
  • Contacting law enforcement for assistance if required
  • Talking to a counselor who specializes in this area of work
  • Taking legal action to have the abuser removed from your life permanently

These steps may seem difficult, but they are necessary when dealing with an abusive relationship.

Emotional Abuse Is Harder to Identify

The act of controlling, bullying, criticizing, or belittling a partner is emotional abuse. Like physical abuse, it can include name-calling, insults, isolation, and more. This form of domestic violence can be difficult to identify because there are no physical wounds. It may appear to be okay at first, but the effects of emotional abuse can be devastating and long-lasting. Those who suffer from emotional abuse often feel like they’re all alone in the world and that there’s no solution to their problem. It can cause depression, anxiety, even push some victims into suicide attempts.

Many victims of this kind of abuse live with it for years before they can find the courage to break free. Statistics show that emotional abuse is just as prevalent as physical abuse and even more common for women. Therefore, it’s essential to seek help if your partner is emotionally abusing you. Many resources are available to help victims of this form of domestic violence, including calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Financial Abuse Often Starts Small

Financial abuse is a form of domestic violence that harms the victim financially, emotionally, and physically. Financial abusers can put their partners into debt, make them work off debts, or take their money without consent.

Financial abuse often starts small with controlling spending habits and slowly progresses to more severe forms of abuse, such as physical or sexual assault. Therefore, it’s essential to recognize the signs of this type of domestic violence early before it escalates into something more dangerous. If you’re being abused financially by your partner, there are many resources available to help, including talking to friends about how they may be able to assist in paying bills until you can get back on your feet, seeking legal counsel if necessary, contacting a counselor who specializes in financial abuse or taking other legal steps to protect yourself.

Sexual Abuse Has Long-Term Effects

Sexual abuse is a form of domestic violence that can take many forms. It’s important to be aware of the signs and know what resources are available if you or someone close to you is being abused sexually by their partner.

This abuse may involve touching, groping, forced sex acts, even attempted rape. Sexual abuse can often start as “sexting,” with threats from the abuser to post pictures online to control and humiliate their victim before escalating into sexual assault. This type of domestic violence can have long-term effects on its victims, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Those who suffer from sexual abuse also often feel shame for letting their partner force them into these situations, but it’s important not to blame yourself because this abuse is never the victim’s fault.

There are many resources available for those who have been sexually abused by their partners. This includes talking to a counselor who specializes in this area of work, finding friends or family members you can trust to confide your feelings with, and talking to law enforcement if necessary.

Isolation Abuse Takes Many Forms

Isolation is a form of domestic violence that people don’t talk about as often as other types. Therefore, it’s essential to be able to identify what it is and how it can affect your life.


Isolation may come in many forms, such as limiting contact with family members, friends, even making the victim feel as if no one cares for them except the abuser. In addition, the abuser may threaten to hurt those the victim cares about or convince the victim that nobody will miss them if they kill themselves. This type of abuse can be complicated because it requires social interaction and self-esteem, which are two things abusers want to destroy.

If this sounds like what’s happening in your relationship, there are many resources available to you; talk to your friends and family, seek counseling or therapy, and contact a domestic violence hotline.

Discuss Your Case With an Attorney

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above forms of domestic violence, you need to have the language to describe what you are experiencing. If you’re worried about someone you know, don’t be afraid to ask them directly if they’re being abused. The most important thing is to seek help and speak with a professional as early as you feel comfortable.

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