Aaron wrongly believed that the only type of abuse was physical and then only if it left a mark. This is a common misunderstanding in our culture. When he took some time to review the different types of abuse, he realized that he experienced it in his marriage, from his parents, and on occasion was guilty of abusive behavior as well.
There are many other ways a person can be abused. Abuse can be manipulation, exploitation, maltreatment, neglect, violence, cruelty, harm, hurt, ill-treatment, and exploitive. The seven main ways it is manifested is through physical, mental, verbal, emotional, financial, sexual and spiritual. Legal abuse is very specific and is not readily seen, however, it does occur. The following list is not inclusive but rather provides an opportunity to explore, evaluate and discuss any potentially destructive behavior.
Aaron used this list as a checklist, marking up his and other’s errors in behavior. Awareness is the first step to stopping abuse.
Physical Abuse. Has the victim experienced:
Intimidation – Bullying by standing over, looking down, or getting “in your face” and then refusing to back off.
Isolation – Limiting the ability to escape from or abandoning in dangerous situations.
Restraint – Confines by blocking a doorway, grabbing when trying to leave, locking doors with no key, or tying up.
Aggression – Hitting, kicking, punching, arm twisting, pushing, beating, shoving, biting, slapping, striking with an object, throwing objects, shaking, pinching, choking, hair pulling, dragging, burning, cutting, stabbing, strangling, and force-feeding (including overdose or misuse of drugs/alcohol).
Endangerment – Verbal threats of killing mixed with physical violence and use of weapons.