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There are signs of abuse. On this page are: on the left side are signs relating to child abuse, and on the right, signs of domestic abuse, that is spousal abuse.

What Constitutes Physical Abuse?

*Pushing   *Restraining    *Backhanding

*Shoving   *Pushing into car   *Pulling out of car

*Slapping   *Hitting head on floor/wall  *Abuse of children

*Biting   *Abuse of animals   *Sitting on

*Choking   *Pinning against wall   *Forcibly carrying

*Pulling   *Throwing things   *Breaking things

*Grabbing   *Driving recklessly   *Slamming doors

*Pinching   *Tearing clothes   *Punching walls/door

*Spanking   *Kicking furniture/walls  *Chasing

*Kicking   *Unplugging phone   *Stalking

*Spitting   *Taking car keys   *Sabotaging car

*Hair pulling   *Taking credit cards/money  *Clenching fist

*Arm-twisting   *Blocking exit    *Locking outside

*Forced kneeling  *Burning    *Shooting

      Types of Emotional Abuse

*Threatening to kill  *Threatening violence   *Threatening children

*Accusing of unfaithfulness *Calling names   *Making insinuations

*Yelling   *Insulting    *Being sarcastic

*Sneering   *Growling    *Criticizing

*Ignoring   *Humiliating    *Laughing at

*Silent treatment  *Insulting friends/family  *Controlling money

*Irresponsible w/money *Isolating partner   *Keeping awake

*Checking up on  *Making faces    *Lying

*Threatening divorce  *Having affairs   *Questioning activity

*Not working   *Keeping partner from working *Denying phone

*Threatening suicide  *Threatening to harm self

Types of Sexual Abuse

*Unwanted touching  *Sexual name-calling   *Unfaithfulness

*False accusations  *Withholding sex as punishment *Forced sex

*Hurtful sex   Forcing to watch others  *Rape w/object 

What Is Child Abuse?

*Pinching       *Treating as a servant

*Hitting      *Interrupting

*Kicking      *Denying input in custody/visitation

*Pushing      *Name Calling

*Twisting Arms     *Using as a confidant

*Choking      *Using to spy on other parent

*Incest       *Shaming

*Sexual touching/kissing    *Isolation

*Withholding basic needs    *Threatening punishment by:

*Using money to correct behavior    *God

*Squandering family money     *Police

*Withholding child support     *Psych ward

*Threatening abandonment     *Foster homes

*Threatening suicide     *Using adult size

*Threatening confinement    *Being violent to other parent

*Threatening physical harm    *Being violent to pet

Signs of a Child in Crisis

*Loss of appetite or any change in eating pattern

*Sleep disturbances such as nightmares or restlessness

*School problems such as refusing to attend, truancy, or a drop in performance


*Clinging to mother or sibling


*Fear of the dark

*Increased violent behavior such as kicking, hitting or fighting

*Verbal abuse or talking back

*Regression such as bed wetting, wanting a bottle, baby talk, and thumb sucking

*Inappropriate responses to discipline

*Temper tantrums



*Role reversal such as taking on a parenting role

*Testing and pushing limits as far as possible



*Bowel irregularity or diarrhea

Characteristics of Children Living in Violent Homes

*A combination of limited tolerance for frustration, poor impulse control, and externalized and internalized anger

*Sadness, depression, stress disorders, and psychosomatic complaints

*Absences from school, pre-delinquent and delinquent behavior

*Sexual acting out, running away, isolation, loneliness, and fear

*Continual hopefulness that situation will improve

*Poor definition of self or a definition of self in the parenting role (role reversal)

*Low self esteem; sees self and siblings with few options or expectations to succeed

*Increased social isolation, increased peer isolation, or complex identification with peers

*Poor social skills

*Feelings of powerlessness

*Constant fear and terror for their life as well as for their parents

*Confusion and insecurity

*Increased deception, including lying, stealing and cheating

*Poor definition of personal boundaries and of others’ personal boundaries

*Little or no understanding of the dynamics of violence, and often an assumption that violence is the norm

*Self-blame for family violence, separations, divorce, and internal conflicts

*Frequent participation in maiming or killing animals or battering siblings

*Use of violence as a problem-solving technique in school, with peers, and with family

*Poor sexual image, uncertainty about appropriate behavior, and immaturity in peer relationships

*Heightened suicide risk and attempts; increased thoughts of suicide or of murdering parents

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