Abuse is defined as an act of controlling the thinking and behavior of another person. Abuse is displaying power over another usually to get something from that person. Abuse can be narrowed down to mistreating another.
The abuser is usually not a stranger. The abuser is a person who is trusted. In the case of older people being abused, the abuser is usually a relative or caregiver that the abused depends on for his well being.
Various Types of Abuse
Whenever the word abuse comes up, the first thing people think about is physical abuse or domestic violence. However, there are many forms of abuse. There are support groups and help for domestic violence, while people affected by the other forms of abuse often suffer in silence.
Physical abuse is the use of physical force upon another that causes bodily injury, pain, or impairment.
Physical abuse is the type of abuse that gets the most attention because it leaves evidence. The evidence could show up in a swollen eye, a broken nose or a split lip. There is proof that some physical abuse has taken place.
Physical abuse can go on for years. It might start out with pushing, slapping, kicking, and throwing things at a person. Then it graduates to punching, shaking and choking. If physical abuse is not stopped in time, it could very well result in murder.
Mental, Emotional, and Psychological Abuse
Emotional or psychological abuse is the act of using words, tone, action or lack of action to control, hurt or demean another.
Usually. emotional abuse involves ridicule, intimidation, and putting another person down.
No physical touching takes place in emotional abuse, but the abused person is still hurt.
Emotional or psychological abuse may result in anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Verbal abuse is simply the use of strong language to talk down to or intimidate someone or make fun of or hurt one’s feelings. This is doubly painful when done in front of others.
Verbal abuse is similar to emotional abuse because the results are the same. However, the methods are different in that only words are used when there is verbal abuse.
Words and other acts are present in emotional and psychological abuse.
Financial and Economic Abuse
Economic and financial abuse are linked together because both types of abuse involve the misuse of someone else's financial resources without the person's permission. These types of abuse are usually about the elderly when the caregiver handles the finances. The caregiver might skim on buying what the person needs just so money will be left over for him or her.
Since the caregiver is in charge of the person's money and property, it is easy for there to be a case of economic and financial abuse.
Identity abuse is associated with verbal abuse. While anything can be said to a person to verbally abuse him, identity abuse is limited to only character assassination. Identity abuse is when a husband keeps reminding his overweight wife how bad she looks. In an argument, a wife could remind her husband how he getting a bald head. Anytime a personal characteristic or flaw is used to demean, manipulate and control another, it is identity abuse.
Spiritual abuse is the last thing one would think to be on the list of abuses. However, one could have a hold on another person so forcibly that it affects the spiritual well-being of that person. Spiritual abuse is using the victim’s spiritual beliefs to manipulate him
Serious Case of Mental Abuse
A husband taunted his wife to the point that she would have chosen physical abuse over what he did to her emotionally. He wrote derogatory notes to her. The husband criticized her and told her she was no good and he wished he hadn't married her and he would never love her. He put the notes in places where she would find them throughout the day.
After a serious argument, the woman found at least a dozen notes around the house. Some of them were in places where they could be clearly seen such as on the bathroom mirror and on the refrigerator door. She found another one in the silverware drawer when she went to set the dinner table.
The wife thought she had found all the notes, but when she went to bed that night she heard a rustling sound as soon as she laid her head on the pillow. There was a note inside the pillow case. This note was the worst of all. The husband lying in bed beside her had written, "Try to stay on your side of the bed. You don't deserve to touch me, and surely, I won't be touching you!"
Mental, emotional and psychological abuse had taken place without the man ever laying a hand on the woman or without him saying anything verbally
Withholding is primarily manifested as a withholding of information and a failure to share thoughts and feelings. A person who withholds information refuses to engage with his or her partner in a healthy relationship. He or she does not share feelings or thoughts. When he or she does share anything, it is purely factual or functional information of the sort their partner could have looked up online, read on his or her facebook wall, or figured out on their own. Examples of withholding communication that fail to engage the partner include: “The car is almost out of gas"; “The keys are on the table"; and The show is on now.
Countering is a tendency to be argumentative not merely in political, philosophical, or scientific contexts but in ordinary contexts as well. The victim of the abuse may share her positive feelings about a movie she just saw, and the abuser may then attempt to convince her that her feelings are wrong. This is countering, or dismissing the victim’s feelings, thoughts, and experiences on a regular basis.
Discounting is an attempt to deny that the victim of the abuse has any right to his or her thoughts or feelings. It may come out as criticism but criticism of a particular kind. The abuser may tell the victim on a regular basis that he or she is too sensitive, too childish, has no sense of humor , or tends to make a big deal out of nothing. The abuser thereby denies the victim’s inner reality, indirectly telling a partner that how they feel and what they experience are wrong.
Verbal abuse disguised as jokes
The abuser may say something very upsetting to the victim of the abuse and, after seeing her reaction add, It was just a joke! Abuse is not OK in any form; jokes that hurt are abusive.
Blocking and diverting
Blocking and diverting is a form of withholding in which the abuser decides which topics are good conversation topics. An abuser practicing this form of abuse may tell the victim that she is talking out of turn or is complaining too much.
Accusing and blaming
In these forms of abuse the abuser will accuse the victim of things that are outside of his or her control. He or she might accuse a partner of preventing them from getting a promotion because the partner is overweight, or ruining his or her reputation because the partner dropped out of college.
Judging and criticizing
Judging and criticizing is similar to accusing and blaming but also involves a negative evaluation of the partner. As Evans points out, Most you statements are judgmental, critical, and abusive. Some abusive judging and criticizing you statements are: You are never satisfied You always find something to be upset about and No one likes you because you are so negative."
Trivializing is a form of verbal abuse that makes most things the victim of the abuse does or wants to do seem insignificant. The abuser might undermine his or her work, style of dressing, or choice of food.
Undermining is similar to trivializing, which consists of undermining everything the victim says or suggests, or making her question herself and her own opinions and interests.
Threatening is a common form of verbal abuse and can be very explicit, such as, If you don’t start doing what I say, I will leave you. Or it can be more subtle, such as, If you don’t follow my advice, others will find out that you are a very unreliable person.
Name calling can be explicit or subtle. Explicit name calling can consist in calling the victim of the abuse a bitch or other hurtful words. But it can also be more subtle, such as when someone says things that are implicitly hurtful, for instance, “You are such a victim, or You think you are so precious don’t you?”
The category of forgetting covers a range of issues ranging from forgetting a promise to forgetting a date or an appointment. Even if the abuser really forgot, it is still abuse, because he ought to have made an effort to remember.
Any form of ordering or demanding is a form of verbal abuse. It falls under the general issue of control.
Denial is abusive when it consists of denying one's bad behavior and failing to realize the consequences of this behavior. An abuser will always try to find a way to justify and rationalize his behavior. This is a way of denying that he has done anything wrong.
Any form of yelling and screaming, particularly out of context. Even yelling Shut up! is abusive. No one deserves to be yelled at.