Men and Women can be abused. Men and Women can be abusers. Abuse can occur in a heterosexual relationship, a homosexual relationship, a polyamorous relationship, or a BDSM relationship. Abuse can occur between parents and children, between friends, or between family members.
Abuse can be physical: punching, slapping, kicking, hitting, stabbing, throwing of objects at a person.
Abuse can be verbal : name calling, putdowns, yelling, cursing, threats, or ultimatums.
Abuse can be emotional: this includes verbal abuse, but also includes gaslighting, denying that one is behaving abusively or negating the victim's feelings and perceptions, humiliation, isolating the victim from friends and family, 'the silent treatment', or threats to harm self, children, pets, or loved ones if the abuser's needs are not met.
Abuse can be financial: The abuser may steal money from the victim. The abuser may deny the victim access to bank accounts, checkbook, credit and/or debit cards. The abuser may force the victim to accept work that is below their skill level in order to keep the victim dependent on the abuser financially. The abuser may not allow the victim to work outside the home and possibly only give them an allowance. The abuser may run up debts on the victim's credit cards that the victim feels obligated to pay.
Abuse can be sexual: this includes unwanted or inappropriate kissing or touching, and of course rape, but can also include withholding sexual intimacy, delivering ultimatums related to sexual behaviors, shaming or belittling their partner's sexual desires or sexual performance, or forcing their partner to go without protection during sex. It can also include demanding 'make up sex' after an episode of physical or verbal abuse.
It is important for both abusers and victims to receive help and support so that they can break free of these unhealthy relationship patterns. If you are being abused, please get help. If you are behaving abusively toward people you love, please get help. If your life or emotions feel out of control, dangerous, or scary, please get help.