Different Types of Violence

Violence & Abuse can come in many different forms. Domestic Violence includes abuse that is physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological, dating-related, focused on children and the elderly, and stalking. Learn more about the different forms below:

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone; can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over another or others.

Domestic Violence includes:

  • Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc. Physical abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use.
  • Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.
  • Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.
  • Economic Abuse: Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.
  • Psychological Abuse: Causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

(See more at http://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence)

Sexual Violence (Assault/Abuse)

Sexual Violence is any sexual behavior a person has not consented to that causes that person to feel uncomfortable, frightened or intimidated is included in the sexual assault category. Physical sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person’s body in a sexual way, even through clothes, without that person’s consent, including but not limited to forced sexual intercourse (rape), sodomy (oral or anal sexual acts), child molestation, incest, fondling and attempted rape.

The law generally assumes that a person does not consent to sexual conduct if he or she is forced, threatened or is unconscious, drugged, a minor, developmentally disabled, chronically mentally ill, or believe they are undergoing a medical procedure. Some examples of sexual assault include:

  • Someone putting their finger, tongue, mouth, penis or an object in or on your vagina, penis or anus when you don’t want them to;
  • Someone touching, fondling, kissing or making any unwanted contact with your body;
  • Someone forcing you to perform oral sex or forcing you to receive oral sex;
  • Someone forcing you to masturbate, forcing you to masturbate them, or fondling and touching you;
  • Someone forcing you to look at sexually explicit material or forcing you to pose for sexually explicit pictures; and
  • A doctor, nurse, or other health care professional giving you an unnecessary internal examination or touching your sexual organs in an unprofessional, unwarranted and inappropriate manner.

(See more at http://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault)

Child Abuse

Child Abuse is purposeful and serious injury inflicted upon a child by a caregiver.

  • Child neglect – most frequently reported form of child abuse and the most
    lethal; defined as the failure to provide shelter, safety, supervision or nutrition;
    can be physical, educational, or emotional.
  • Physical neglect: refusal of or delay in seeking health care,
    abandonment, expulsion from the home or refusal to allow a
    runaway to return home, and inadequate supervision.
  • Educational neglect: includes the allowance of chronic truancy,
    failure to enroll a child of mandatory school age in school, and
    failure to attend to a special educational need.
  • Emotional neglect: includes such actions as marked inattention
    to the child’s needs for affection, refusal of or failure to provide
    needed psychological care, spouse abuse in the child’s presence,
    and permission of drug or alcohol use by the child.
  • Physical abuse – physical injury inflicted upon the child with cruel and/
    or malicious intent; includes but is not limited to: punching, beating, kicking,
    biting, burning, shaking, or otherwise bodily harming a child.
  • Emotional abuse – (also called psychological child abuse, verbal child
    abuse, or mental injury of a child) includes acts or omissions by parents or
    other caregivers that could cause serious behavioral, emotional, or mental
    disorders (e.g.: bizarre forms of punishment, such as confining a child in a
    dark closet; extreme name-calling, etc.)
  • Sexual abuse: includes fondling a child’s genitals, intercourse, incest, rape,
    sodomy, exhibitionism, or commercial exploitation through prostitution or the
    production of pornographic materials.

To report the crime of child abuse in New Mexico:

  • From a cell phone dial #SAFE — #7233.
  • From a landline, the number is 1-855-333-SAFE.
Youth & Dating Violence

Youth & Dating Violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Teens and young adults experience the same types of abuse in relationships as adults. This can include:

  • Physical abuse: any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause fear
    or injury, like hitting, shoving, biting, strangling, kicking or using a weapon
  • Emotional abuse: non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant
    monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation or stalking
  • Sexual abuse: any action that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual
    activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including rape,
    coercion or restricting access to birth control.

While teens experience the same types of abuse as adults, often the methods are unique to teen culture. For example, teens often report “digital abuse” — receiving threats by text messages or being stalked on Facebook or MySpace.

(See more at http://www.breakthecycle.org)


Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention, harassment, and contact. It is a course
of conduct that can include:

  • Following or laying in wait for the victim
  • Repeated unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications from the
    perpetrator by phone, mail, and/or e-mail
  • Damaging the victim’s property
  • Making direct or indirect threats to harm the victim, the victim’s children,
    relatives, friends, or pets
  • Repeatedly sending the victim unwanted gifts
  • Harassment through the Internet, known as cyberstalking, online stalking, or
    Internet stalking
  • Securing personal information about the victim by: accessing public records
    (land records, phone listings, driver or voter registration), using Internet search
    services, hiring private investigators, contacting friends, family, work, or neighbors, going through the victim’s garbage, following the victim, etc.

Learn more here http://www.justice.gov/ovw/stalking

Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse of an elderly person, usually one who is disabled or frail by a caregiver (either in the person’s home or in an institution).

  • Physical abuse – willful infliction of physical pain or injury, such as slapping, bruising, sexually molesting, or restraining.
  • Sexual abuse – infliction of non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
  • Emotional (psychological) abuse – the infliction of mental or emotional anguish, pain or distress through verbal or non-verbal acts; including but not limited to: treating the adult as an infant, isolating from family or friends; prohibiting social contact.
  • Financial or material exploitation – the improper/illegal use of an elder’s funds, property or assets including but not limited to: cashing checks without authorization, forging signatures, coercing or forcing the elder to sign legal documents, improper use of conservatorship, guardianship or power of attorney.
  • Neglect – the intentional refusal or failure to provide goods or services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish or mental illness, including but not limited to: abandonment, denial of food, basic hygiene or health related services.
  • Self-neglect – is characterized by the behavior of an elderly person that threatens one’s personal health or safety.

(To report Elder Abuse call 9-1-1 or 1-800-797-3260)

Learn more here http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/elder_rights

Technology-Assisted Abuse

Technology-Assisted Abuse is using cell-phones, computers, social networks and other electronic tools to stalk, bully, intimidate, frighten, harass or otherwise harm someone.

  • Cyberstalking: a pattern of threatening behavior or unwanted advances directed at another using the Internet and other forms of online and computer
  • Cyberbullying: willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.

An abuser may keep track of how you use your computer. The only way to be completely safe is to go to a computer the abuser doesn't know about, like a friend's computer or a computer at the library. If you are at a safe computer, here are directions for making your home computer safe too, go here to 9 Ways to Delete Web History.