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Types of Abuse

What is "Physical Abuse of Adults"?

Physical abuse is the non-accidental use of physical force to cause harm to another person's body. It causes physical discomfort, injury, or pain. It is important to note that the victim does not have to suffer a physical injury for this to be considered physical abuse.

Types of Physical Abuse Include:
  • Beating
  • Burning/scalding
  • Punching/kicking
  • Pushing/ shoving
  • Rough handling
  • Physical coercion
  • Stabbing
  • Spitting
  • Tripping
  • Slapping or hitting with a hand
Common forms of physical abuse towards adults include tying the victim to furniture, misusing physical restraints, using drugs to restrain the victim, forcing the victim to remain in a chair or bed, and forcing someone to remain in rooms against his or her will.

Possible Signs of Physical Abuse Include:
  • Fractures
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Marks
  • Avoidance of being touched
  • Burns
  • Scarring

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse occurs when an elder is being abused physically, emotionally, sexually, verbally, economically, or mentally. As elders get older and frailer they are often victims of abuse due to their seclusion. It is often the caretaker that is the perpetrator. This is what usually causes the abuse.

Perpetrators of elder abuse are often sons, daughters, grandchildren, and caretakers, among others. In spousal abuse it is often a form of abuse used to control and gain power. This is considered to be domestic violence. Perpetrators are often unmarried, may live with the victim, and are often unemployed. Sometimes the perpetrators have substance abuse disorders.

What is Domestic Abuse/Spousal Abuse?

Domestic violence is defined as being any pattern of behavior in a relationship that is used to maintain control or power over a person the perpetrator is in an intimate relationship to them.

Domestic Violence Can Come In the Following Forms:
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Economical abuse
  • Mental abuse
Signs of an Abusive Domestic Relationship Include:
  • Constant insults or criticism
  • Lack of trust, jealousy, and/or possessiveness
  • Forced isolation from friends/family
  • Monitoring where the victim goes and whom he or she spends time with
  • Not wanting the victim to work
  • Controlling finances
  • Withholding affection
  • Expecting the victim to ask permission to do anything
  • Threats involving physical violence
  • Humiliation
  • The perpetrator damages property when angry
  • Abandoning the victim in dangerous or unfamiliar places
  • Physically assaulted the victim
  • Using a weapon to threaten the victim
  • Driving recklessly in order to scare the victim
  • Possibly hurting children
  • Forcing the victim to leave the house
  • Preventing the victim from contacting authorities or seeking medical attention
Indicators of Domestic Abuse/Spousal Abuse Include:
  • Burns from cigarettes, hot water, and/or appliances
  • Bilateral bruises, wrap-around bruises, multicolored bruises
  • Injuries indicative of not receiving appropriate care
  • Signs of traumatic hair and/or tooth loss
  • History of similar injuries
  • The victim goes to different hospitals to avoid observation of patterns of abuse
  • Conflicting stories of how injuries were sustained
  • Injuries do not fit with explanations
  • Delay between injury and seeking medical care




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