What Are the Common Types of Domestic Violence?

A shocking one in three women and one in four men will experience physical domestic violence throughout their lifetime, amounting to more than 10 million Americans experiencing domestic violence every year. 

Even more shocking is this statistic, bleak though it is, barely touches the surface of the scale of domestic violence. It only refers to physical domestic violence, and there are many more types of domestic violence to consider.

We’ll be looking at the other kinds of domestic violence and how common they are in this article, as well as where to get help.

What Is Domestic Violence and What Are the Types of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is defined as “a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.”

This definition helps us better understand that it is not only physical violence that counts as domestic violence. The other common types of domestic violence are:

  • Sexual violence
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial abuse

We’ll look at each in more depth, starting with physical violence.

Physical Violence

Physical violence is the most prevalent type of domestic abuse. It covers a huge range of violent behavior, including:

  • Pushing
  • Grabbing
  • Slapping
  • Punching
  • Biting
  • Burning

At its most severe, physical violence also includes weapons or other objects to hurt people. It can also include less direct behaviors such as withholding food, sleep, shelter, or medical care. 

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is another common type of domestic violence. One in three women and one in four men will experience sexual violence in a relationship at some point in their lifetime. It often accompanies other types of domestic violence.

Sexual violence includes:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Drug assisted sexual abuse
  • Unwanted sexual contact
  • Coerced sexual contact
  • Rape

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is harder to define as there is no physical action. However, the consequences of emotional abuse are just as real. Emotional abusers tear down the emotional and psychological well-being of their partners through words and behaviors.

This could include:

  • Shouting, screaming, and swearing
  • Name-calling
  • Blaming and scapegoating
  • Gaslighting
  • Humiliating and shaming
  • Manipulating
  • Threats
  • Controlling behaviors like stalking
  • Isolating the victim from friends and family

Emotional abuse goes unreported very often, so it is difficult to know how prevalent this type of abuse is. 

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse refers to an abuser withholding economic resources as a means of controlling their partner. This could be by limiting access to funds, keeping the victim on an allowance, taking away the victim’s own money, or even sabotaging them at work. Hence, they become dependent on their abuser for funds.

Financial abuse often occurs in conjunction with other types of domestic abuse. Research shows it occurs in 99% of domestic violence cases.

Where to Find Out More and Get Help

Domestic violence is prevalent, but that doesn’t mean things are hopeless. The sentences for domestic violence have increased over the years, and more people are reporting abuse than before. You can learn more about the consequences of domestic violence for abusers at

If you’re in an abusive relationship and need help, there are many resources available. Contact Refuge at 0808 2000 247. If you are in immediate danger, phone 911.

More Advice on Health and Relationships

There are many common types of domestic violence, including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. They often occur in conjunction and are prevalent in abusive relationships. You can find help online, on the phone, or by contacting the police.

You can find more helpful advice on relationships and health on our website. 

Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.