409 Center Street | Oregon City, OR 97045 Call Us At: (503) 722-3981

The 5 Main Types of Domestic Violence

blog banner

Many people incorrectly believe that physical abuse is the only form of domestic violence. There are actually many different types of domestic violence, and it is important to know what they are and the differences between each.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors in an intimate relationship used by one partner to maintain power and control over the other. According to a report by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE), “In about 70% of cases, the allegation is deemed to be unnecessary or false.” Under this circumstance, you would want to enlist a Clackamas County criminal defense lawyer. However, no matter the claim, it is important to know what falls under the category of domestic violence and seek help from there.

That being said, there is a lot that falls into the category of domestic abuse, and there are many different categories because there are many different ways that someone can harm someone else.

Below is a list of the five main different types of domestic abuse as defined by the National Institute of Justice.

The 5 Main Types of Domestic Violence

Physical Violence

The most recognizable form of domestic violence, physical abuse involves the use of force against the victim. This can mean a variety of things—punching, kicking, stabbing, shooting, choking, slapping, biting, or forcing the victim to use drugs. Injuries do not need to be major, either. For example, a few slaps can still be considered domestic violence, even if the injuries do not require medical attention.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence includes sexual assault, rape, and harassment. Defined as the violation of an individual’s bodily integrity, sexual abuse may involve verbal, non-verbal, and physical behavior. Sexual abuse also includes particular behaviors that would limit reproductive rights, like preventing use of contraceptive methods and forcing abortion.

Financial Abuse

Probably considered one of the least obvious types of domestic violence, financial abuse can take many forms. One such example is when one spouse prevents the other from obtaining a job outside the home. Another example, which is extremely common, is when a joint account is controlled by just one partner. One of the toughest aspects about financial abuse is that there is no outward showing of the abuse. When the victim has no access to money except from the abuser, the victim is completely at the mercy of the abuser.

Emotional Abuse

Typically, emotional abuse is combined with other forms of abuse and often involves the destruction of the victim’s self-worth. It is very common for emotional abuse to be lumped together with intimidation control, as the batterer typically wants to maintain dominance over the victim. This controlling and destructive behavior can include constant criticism, name-calling, and embarrassment.

Psychological Abuse

This is a catch-all term for intimidating, threatening, or fear-causing behavior that is persistent and significant. Similar to emotional abuse, psychological abuse may not, on its own, be enough to bring a domestic violence charge to court. One example of psychological abuse includes instilling fear in an intimate partner through threatening behavior, such as controlling who the victim talks to and what they do.

Other Types of Domestic Violence


Stalking can be present in any of the various different types of domestic violence. Generally referring to harassing or threatening behavior, stalking is often the batterers way of controlling the victim. You can find out more about stalking on the National Institute of Justice’s website.

Verbal Abuse

Combined with a lot of the other forms of domestic violence, verbal abuse is any derogatory language that batterers use to denigrate or threaten a victim. This will include name-calling, threatening to hurt or kill the victim or people close to them, and/or yelling, screaming, or terrorizing the victim.

Technological Abuse

A form of verbal or emotional abuse, technological abuse is similar to cyber bullying. It occurs when a batterer uses technology, such as social media, to harass, stalk, or intimidate a victim. Those who perform technological abuse may also use technology to control a victim by controlling their various accounts and passwords.

Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual abuse falls under the emotional abuse umbrella. While it is not well known, that does not mean it is not prominent. Spiritual abuse is anything that gets in the way of the victim doing something that makes them feel good about themselves. If a partner does not let the other practice their own moral/religious beliefs or their own culture/values, that can be seen as spiritual abuse as well.

You can find more specific examples of domestic abuse at the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence.

Important Domestic Violence Statistics

There is a lot to know and understand about domestic violence. Below are some statistics you need to know in order to better understand how heavily a domestic violence case can affect a person.

Across the Country

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) has a tremendous amount of statistics regarding domestic violence. Here are just a few of them.

  • About 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. This equates to more than 10 million women and men over the course of a single year.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner abuse—ranging from physical violence and sexual violence to stalking that leads to victim injury, fearfulness, or worse.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point that they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.

Domestic Violence in Oregon

  • Almost 1/3 of Oregon women reported experiencing some kind of domestic violence.
  • According to a study conducted by the Oregon’s Department of Services, Oregon domestic and sexual violence programs answered 139,580 calls for help in 2017. They also found that different domestic violence programs across Oregon educated over 75,620 community members.
  • Oregon’s mandatory arrest law states that any person accused of domestic violence will be immediately arrested, even if there is a possibility that the accusation is false.

© Jared Justice | Attorney At Law
DUI Defense | Criminal Defense | Locations Served | About | Reviews | Results | FAQs | Contact | Blog | Sitemap

Website by Dan Gilroy Design

 Call         Email