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Forms of violence

Am I a victim

of domestic violence?

Verbal abuse

Verbal abuse is any abuse that can be heard.

Here are some examples:

• Raising their tone to intimidate their partner

• Using threats

• Insulting or name-calling

• Blackmailing

• Giving orders

Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse is a series of abusive and humiliating remarks or attitudes.

Here are some examples:


​• Denigrating intellectual abilities or appearance

• Criticizing their way of educating children or cooking

• Making negative comments in public

• Commenting or criticizing their sexual performance

• Leading them to think they are incompetent/a loser

• Ignoring the person

Psychological abuse is a form of subtle abuse, and therefore more difficult to identify. It often starts with comments that do not seem so serious.


Physical violence

Contrary to what everyone believes, a partner doesn’t always need to hit, squeeze someone’s arms or try to strangle them to be violent and to dominate.

Physical violence is a physical manifestation of violence, but not necessarily contact between individuals:

• Throwing objects directly towards or near       the person

• Blocking their way, pushing them

• Punching or kicking objects

Financial abuse

Financial abuse is everything related to the control of money, such as:

• Forcing a partner to pay for all their essential needs

• Forcing a partner to go into debt

• Prohibiting a partner from buying certain essential items

• Criticizing purchases made for children

• Forcing a partner to steal or commit fraud

• Controlling a partner’s income and managing their finances without consulting them

This form of violence deprives a partner of their autonomy.

Social abuse

Social abuse primarily involves the victim’s social network:

• Constantly belittling people who are important to their partner

• Constantly criticizing their job, workplace or colleagues

• Denigrating a partner’s hobbies, activities or sports

• Prohibiting visitors, seeing or talking to friends

• Prohibiting contacts with family members

• Controlling emails and phone calls

• Forcing them to drop out of school or prohibiting them from working

Again, this form of abuse develops gradually.

Little by little, victims finds themselves alone and isolated.


Sexual violence

Sexual violence is more difficult to discern because sexuality refers to a couple’s intimacy and is still considered by many as a "conjugal duty".


It can also be embarrassing for a victim to explain what they are going through or what they are forced to do during sexual intercourse.

Sexual violence sometimes takes the form of:

• Insulting a partner during intercourse

• Humiliating or intimidating a partner by comparing their body to that of others

• Forcing a partner to wear clothing or accessories associated with pornography

• Forcing a partner to watch pornography and imitate pornographic films

• Hitting or biting during intercourse

• Forcing a someone to have sex or perform certain sexual acts is sexual assault. Yes, sexual assault also happens within a couple.

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