What is Abuse?

Abuse is an attempt to control the behavior of another person. It is a misuse of power and trust. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, or financial. Victims of abuse are most often women, elderly family members and/or children. You do not deserve to be treated in an abusive, controlling and demeaning way. Nobody does!

Cycle of Violence:

It is repetitive, and follows with 3 distinct stages. Tension-Building, Explosion, and Honeymoon stage.


Recognizing abuse is the first step to getting help:

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. No one deserves to be put down and hurt no matter what they said or did.

  • Emotional Abuse – isolating, ignoring, terrorizing, exploiting, or verbally attacking the victim, apologizing and making false promises to end abuse, ridiculing, blaming and neglecting physical and/or emotional needs, spreading rumors or lies, and threatening to “out” the victim (e.g., as gay) or report victim to immigration/ICE, teaching children to yell at, disrespect, or demean the victim, destroying victim’s property/items that are meaningful to the victim
  • Verbal Abuse – using harsh word to put the victim down and make them feel bad about themselves, yelling, name calling, threatening to hurt or kill, belittling, and degrading the victim
  • Sexual Abuse – forcing victims to engage in sexual acts against their will, making constant sexual demands, sabotaging the use of birth control, wanting sex after abuse, forcing to have sex with others, forcing pregnancy or abortion
  • Spiritual Abuse – not allowing the victim to practice her/his faith, forcing them to take on another faith, using sacred books or God to justify abuse, threatening to expose private or damaging information to faith community
  • Financial/Resource Abuse – controlling financial matters, controlling how money is distributed, limiting or denying access to bank accounts, withholding child support, taking or disabling the car, demanding an explanation of how money is spent, harassing at work, prohibiting partner from getting a job or pursuing education, hiding or destroying visas or immigration papers
  • Physical Abuse – hitting, slapping, punching, pushing, and pinching, strangling, kicking, refusing to help when sick, burning, pulling hair, holding down, and sabotaging access to medications or medical appointments, injuring pets as a threat to the victim


November is Domestic Violence Month. Purple has long been the symbol of pain and suffering.  Wearing purple helps us to reflect on the impact that Verbal, Sexual, Spiritual, Financial, and Physical violence we have had on our culture.