Violence Prevention East
What is Violence?
Violence occurs when one person does or says something to hurt or have control over another.

Violence may occur only once, it can involve various tactics of subtle manipulation or it may occur frequently while escalating over a period of months or years. In any form, violence profoundly affects individual health and well-being putting individuals at risk of serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional or mental disorders.

There are many different forms of violence and a person may be subjected to more than one type at a time, they can be exhibited physically, emotionally, psychologically, sexually and financially.
Types of Abuse
Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the most visible form of abuse and is characterized by the infliction of injury or injuries.

Physical abuse may include but is not limited to such acts of violence as grabbing, striking, pinching, shoving, slapping, hitting, hair-pulling, biting, arm-twisting, kicking, punching.

Hitting with objects, use of harmful restraints or weapons.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse is defined as routinely making unreasonable demands or the intentional infliction of anxiety, hurt, guilt or fear through verbal or nonverbal acts.

Emotional or psychological abuse serves to degrade and undermine an individual's sense of self-worth and self-esteem while rejecting their opinions and needs.

Emotional and psychological abuse includes but is not limited to attacking a person verbally by yelling, name-calling, constant criticism, insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, and criminally harassing or stalking. As well, isolating the victim from family, friends or regular activities, and using silent treatment.

Denying the abuse ever happened; and shifting responsibility for abuse, using the statement "It's your fault."

Exposing a child to family violence, using threats of harm either to the perpetrator themselves, a person or their loved ones or others threats of damage/destruction of property. Kidnapping, rape and murder are extreme examples of emotional and psychological maltreatment.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is defined as any unwanted or inappropriate sexual contact or activity that forces a person to participate in any unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity that is considered non-consensual, coerced or against a person deemed incapable of giving consent. Perpetrators are most often known and trusted by the victim.

Forms of sexual abuse may include inviting or manipulating for sexual purposes, petting, fondling, intercourse, date/marital rape, beating sexual parts of the body, bestiality, forced prostitution, sodomy, sex with weapons, exhibitionism, use of pornography. Penetration does not have to occur for it to be sexual abuse.

Undermining a person's sexuality by derogatory comments, withholding sexual affection, criticism of desired sexuality, and unfounded allegations of promiscuity and/or infidelity.

Humiliating, criticizing, or trying to control a person's sexuality or reproductive choices.

Economic or Financial Abuse

Economic Abuse is defined as the control of a person's financial resources without their consent.

Making, or attempting to make, a person financially dependent by maintaining control over all household income, not disclosing family income or resources. Stealing from, defrauding, manipulating, exploiting or inappropriately using others' finances.

Keeping the person from attending school, forbidding employment or controlling their choice of occupation or harassing the individual at his or her workplace.

Denying access to financial resources, withholding money or access to it for food or medicine. Making them beg for money for necessary items like personal hygiene items, children's items, taking money; giving an allowance and requiring justification for all money spent.

If you are being subjected to any of these behaviors, you are not at fault or to blame for abuse and violence inflicted by others. You deserve not to be abused and have a right to live your life with out fear. You have the right to safe, healthy relationships and to make decisions that are best for you.

(adopted from Violence Prevention Initiative)

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