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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS – Forms of Domestic Abuse

People often have a limited understanding of what constitutes domestic abuse. In this article, we provide more in-depth examples of abuse.

By Jennilee Peremore   

Abuse can be in the following forms and more:

Physical abuse includes “shoving, slapping, punching, kicking, throttling, biting,” but can also include attack with a weapon including “objects, guns, knives or any other dangerous weapon.”
Sexual abuse includes “rape, attempted rape, indecent assault,” but can also include “on-going verbal abuse with sexual slurs such as bitch, whore, slut, etc.”
Emotional, Verbal and Psychological Abuse includes “constant insults, ridicule or name-calling, [and] repeated threats of violence or death” to cause emotional distress.
Harassment is watching a victim at places like their home, work or other public places, or “repeatedly phoning a victim or causing any other person to phone.”
Stalking includes “constantly approaching a victim and asking or demanding to talk to a victim against his/her will.”
Economic abuse includes “selling of shared property e.g., livestock, a matrimonial house without the consent of a victim” or withdrawing funds from “a joint bank account for personal use without the consent of a victim.
Abuse can be intricate. Abusers are known for disguising their behaviour to confuse their victims, so victims are unable to discern whether they are abused. They manipulate victims into doubting their experiences to deter them from taking action against them. Becoming educated on domestic violence and how abusers operate is an essential step in protecting yourself from an abuser.

For more information on the various types of abuse, read the full informational booklet released by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development here.

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