3 Nonphysical Types of Domestic Violence

The court system takes domestic violence very seriously. If found guilty of a related civil or criminal offense, you may have to take court approved domestic violence classes online or face other penalties.

However, domestic violence can also be a confusing term because many of the behaviors involved do not seem violent or physical in nature. Nevertheless, they are considered harmful or abusive to another person, which means they can be included under the wider umbrella of domestic violence.

1. Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse involves using words in a violent way. This may involve yelling or screaming or making specific threats against the individual, his or her reputation, or those close to the individual, such as family or pets. Another form that verbal abuse can take is calling the individual by offensive names or putting down his or her appearance.

2. Emotional Abuse

There can be some overlap between verbal abuse and emotional abuse. The latter involves exploiting the insecurity or vulnerability of the individual. This can involve verbal threats or insults but it can also involve behavior such as gaslighting, which is taking steps to distort the other individual’s sense of reality to sow self-doubt. Emotional abuse can also involve preventing an individual from practicing religious beliefs or forcing him or her to take alcohol or drugs. Wordless gestures or actions intending to humiliate the victim is another form of nonverbal emotional abuse.

3. Financial/Economic Abuse

Controlling the family finances is a way to exert control over someone living in the same household. It is nonphysical in nature, but it makes one individual entirely dependent on the other by restricting access to resources. Financial abuse can take many forms, such as preventing someone from earning money by taking a job outside the house, taking the money that the individual does earn from a job, or not allowing him or her a say in how the money is spent.