Do not be surprised to know that abuse can take several forms. Yes, abuse or violation of an individual’s rights by another person or persons, has taken up various forms due to its drastic increase in the society. A commonplace in modern times, abuse has now become a serious social and cultural problem that does not leave anyone spared from its consequences, be it the victim of abuse, a perpetrator, a friend or confidant of an abused person looking for ways to be helpful, or even one of the general citizens who is angered by injustice and hopes for working towards a positive change. Furthermore, abuse has been classified into so many forms that some people do not even realize that they are being or have been abused. As such, people have started assuming some degree of harm as acceptable or reasonable, or worse inevitable. Let us look at the different types of abuse that prevail in our society.
Different Kinds Of Abuse
If you have been criticized through words and body language by another person, do not let him/her go off easily. You need to realize that you are a victim of verbal abuse. Such abusers call out names with intentions to make the victim feel that he/she does not deserve the love or respect, or does not have the ability or talent. Shouting, swearing, passing rude gestures, pulling faces at you, whispering nasty things and spreading rumors are some high-end symptoms of verbal abuse. Often ignored since it is not initially recognized as abuse, verbal abuse can severely damage a victim’s self-esteem and self-worth when practiced for extended periods.
The abuser uses his physical and sexual force or threats to control his victims. Also known as mental abuse or emotional abuse, a psychological abuser successfully gathers information about his victim and manipulates his sense of reality of what is and what is not acceptable. Such people make use of threats or taunts combined with physical assaults in controlling their victim. Breaking promises, playing mind games, harassing, ignoring feelings, attacking vulnerabilities and humiliating in public, are some strong signs of psychological abuse.
As the name suggests, physical abuse includes physical pain or threat of physical force to intimidate another person. Though actual physical abuse comprises of simple slaps or pushes, but in extreme cases, it can also involve a full-on physical beating that can include punching, kicking, hair pulling, scratching, strangling, burning and throwing objects over. This eventually leads to physical damage and in severe cases, hospitalization as well. Additionally, in violent instances, the victims are liable to die due to their injuries.
Sexual abuse can be defined as the involvement of vulnerable adults into any kind of unwanted sexual activities by the abuser. Molestation, incest, inappropriate touching (with or without intercourse) and partner or date rape are some common examples of sexual abuse. Sexual violence becomes extraordinarily difficult for victims to explain, due to the numerous ways in which such violence is perpetrated. Some potential indicators of sexual abuse include withholding sex and affection as punishment, pressurizing the victim to have sex when not desired, physically forceful sex, coercing sex by manipulation or threats, compelling the victim to involve in sexual activities with a third party, and so on.
A person being disregarded of his physical and/or psychological needs is termed as neglect. In such a situation, the abuser fails to fulfill his responsibilities of providing adequate and appropriate food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, love or care. Neglect occurs with people who are dependent on others. Hence, such victims generally include children or dependent elders who are not taken care of well by their families or caregivers.
An abuse that involves all major kinds of abuse, such as verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, towards a particular victim or group of victims based on certain characteristics, is termed as hate crime. The common characteristics that are the cause of hate crime generally consist of religious or sexual afflictions, such as race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation of another person or group of individuals.