Lesson 3: Abuse Within Families
What is Abuse?Abuse within families can take many forms. Some people divide it up into five general classifications:However, classifications of this sort are never perfect. All abuse, for instance, can ultimately be called emotional abuse in that it undermines the emotional well-being of its victims. Nevertheless, these broad categories can be useful in coming to understand just how great the potential is for abuse to occur within a family.
- Physical abuse is the intentional application of physical force or a threat to use it to a family member. Examples are pushing , punching, slapping, shoving, kicking, spitting, pinching, pulling hair, choking, throwing things, striking with an object, using or threatening to use a weapon, locking someone out of the house, abandoning someone in an isolated or unsafe place, and threatening to physically harm someone.
- Sexual abuse includes unwanted sexual advances, touching, intercourse, or any other activity where one family member uses his or her power over another to achieve a sexual objective.
- Emotional or psychological abuse includes things like constant criticism, intimidation, isolation from friends, controlling with fear, or any behavior that undermines the mental and emotional well-being of another.
- Economic abuse involves controlling, exploiting, or limiting another person's access to financial resources, misusing another's funds, and cheating or stealing from a family member.
- Neglect is an act of omission that causes significant emotional or physical harm to a family member for whom one is responsible.