The different types of abuse

Abuse can be categorised in lots of ways, including emotional, physical and sexual, with the most common type of domestic abuse occurring in relationships. However, domestic abuse also covers abuse and violence between family members, such as adolescents to parents. Some examples of these types of abuse can be found below.

Physical abuse

This includes, but isn't limited to, hitting, kicking, restraining.


Emotional abuse

Verbal abuse is a type of emotional abuse, and includes being subjected to shouting, swearing and insults. Another form of emotional abuse is rejection. This includes the constant rejection of your ideas and opinions. 'Gaslighting' is a further form of verbal abuse where someone intentionally twists your perception of reality for their own gain. Example phrases a perpetrator might use include:


"You need help"

"You must be confused again"

"Stop imagining things"

"It's always something with you"


Sexual abuse

This includes any instance of making you do things that you don’t want to do, and includes rape.


Financial abuse

This includes taking your money or controlling what money you have.


Coercive behaviour

This includes threatening, humiliating or intimidating behaviour that is used to punish and frighten you.


Controlling behaviour 

This includes isolating you from your friends and family, checking up on what you are doing and where you are.


It's important to be aware that anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of your gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.


Remember, if you're experiencing domestic abuse, there are a range of services available to support you. Click here to find out more.

The different types of abuse