The Abuse


Physical – Emotional – Sexual – Financial – Abuse through Technology


Josh gets really upset when Sofia disagrees with him in public. Last time I saw them, he slapped her in front of us because she wanted to stay a little longer.


Larry doesn’t want Candace to hang out with her friends or to visit her family. He says that now that they are married, he is all she needs.


Moesha and Dwayne have been dating for a month. They both are in eleventh grade and have known each other for a couple of years. Last time they were alone, Dwayne asked Moesha to give him oral sex; when she refused, he said he could find another girl who would do it.


Mrs. Brown lives in a beautiful house but never has money. She stopped working when she got pregnant with her first child, and now her husband doesn’t want her to go back to work. Every time she needs to buy something, she needs to ask him for money.


  1. ANSWERS Physical Abuse: Josh is using physical violence to control Sofia to make her leave when he is ready to leave.
  2. Emotional Abuse: Isolation, or keeping Candace away from friends and family, is a way for Larry to gain power and control over her.
  3. Sexual Abuse: Though Dwayne hasn’t sexually assaulted Monique, he is trying to coerce and manipulate her into doing something that she does not want to do.
  4. Financial Abuse: Mr. Brown is using money and finances to control his wife.
  5. Abuse Through Technology: David is using technology like cell phones and the internet to control and stalk his boyfriend.

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Family Abuse

All Abuse, are bad abuse!

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Types of Abuse


  • this type of abuse is likely the most common. Emotional abuse consists of any behavior designed to hurt another person mentally. Psychological abuse includes yelling, threats, shaming, humiliation and shaming, among other tactics.


  • this type of abuse is often seen alongside other forms of abuse. Financial abuse is when one person restricts access to money from another. This type of abuse includes actions like cutting off access to bank accounts, controlling where someone is allowed to work and preventing access to financial information.


  • this form of abuse shows the most outward signs. Physical abuse is also known as domestic abuse or domestic violence when it occurs within intimate relationships. Physical abuse is any physical act or threat of a physical act designed to harm another person physically. This type of abuse includes actions like slapping, punching, hair-pulling and kicking. Physical evidence such as bruises need not exist for the act to be physical abuse.


  • this type of abuse is often perpetrated against women although men can be victims of sexual abuse too. Sexual abuse includes any unwanted sexual act forced on the victim. This form of abuse is also often known as sexual assault or rape. Sexual abuse can include anything from unwanted touching to forced intercourse or forced sexual contact with another person.


  • verbal abuse is generally a form of psychological abuse. This type of abuse occurs when an abuser uses words and body language with the intent to hurt another person. Verbal abuse includes put-downs, name-calling and unreasonable criticisms.


  • this type of abuse happens between an elder and another person, typically younger, such as the elder’s child. Elder abuse consists of other forms of abuse perpetrated against an elder. This form of abuse often consists of financial, emotional and even physical abuse.



  • Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use to gain power and control over their intimate partners.
  • Domestic violence is lethal, common, and affects people of all cultures, religions, ages, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds and income levels.
  • Domestic violence is a crime and it happens in many different ways.


Teen dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship.

It occurs in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships and can include any combination of verbal, emotional, physical, sexual abuse, and even financial abuse.

  • It may start as early as middle school when youth start dating for the first time. The dangerous effects of teen dating violence and sexual assault can significantly affect the rest of a teenager’s life if it is not prevented or stopped. Even after the violence has ended, victims are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, including binge drinking, cocaine use, suicide attempts, and eating disorders.


  • Domestic violence does not always look the same, but there are some warning signs that may indicate you are in an unhealthy relationship.
  • Take a few minutes to answer these questions:
  • Does your partner constantly insult you or put you down?
  • Does your partner want to know what you do and where you are at all times?
  • Does your partner act really jealous of your friends or family?
  • Does your partner blame you for his/her violence?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you or him/herself if the relationship ends?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, it is important for you to get help. Call the 24-Hour Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-866-SAFE-014 before the cycle of violence gets worse.


All too often the question “Why do people stay in abusive relationships?” is posed to survivors, implying that they are to blame for the abuse.

Instead, questions like “How did the abuser prevent the other person from leaving?” or “Why do abusers choose to abuse their partners?” are more appropriate.

There are serious factors that weigh on the abused person’s decision to leave:

  • Leaving can be dangerous: Many victims realistically fear that their abusive partners’ actions will become more violent and even lethal if they attempt to leave. The abuser may have threatened to kill them or hurt their child or family member if they leave.
  • What about the kids? Many survivors are not sure that leaving would be the best for their children (especially if the children are not being abused directly.) Concerns may include: Will my partner win custody of the children? How will I support my kids without my partner’s income? I want my children to have two parents.
  • Isolation: Their friends and family may not support their leaving, or they may have no one else to turn to.
  • Cycle of Violence and Hope for Change: Most abusive partners exhibit a behavioral pattern that has been described as a cycle of violence. The cycle of violence has three phases: the honeymoon phase (when everything in the relationship seems lovely), tension building, and violent incident. Many abusive partners become remorseful after inflicting violence, and promise that they will change (beginning the honeymoon phase again). This cycle makes it difficult to break free from an abusive partner.
  • Lack of Resources: The survivor may not be employed or may not have access to alternate housing, cash or bank accounts.

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