Domestic Violence happens in relationships without regard to age, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Men may be victims of abuse, just as women are. In fact, the National Domestic Violence Hotline website reports that 1 in 7 men aged 18 and older have been the victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Ten (10) percent of men in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner. In the UK, Mankind Initiative reports 38% of domestic abuse victims are men. The also report that male victims are twice as likely as women to not tell anyone about the partner abuse.

If you’re being abused, please seek help from a program that specializes in Domestic Violence recovery. In the US, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

If you are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship, consider seeking help from a support program. Find a safe place such as a public computer to review a safety plan for leaving. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline above to speak to an advocate about how to safely leave an abusive relationship.

Types of abuse seen within a relationship

There are several types of abuse that occur within a dating relationship and a partnership or marriage.


Let’s break down each of these types of abuse with examples of behaviors that fall under them.


Digital Abuse

Digital abuse is more common than expected, and fairly equal in perpetration between men and women, with approximately 1 in 8 reporting being on the receiving end of digital abuse.

Controlling the partner’s social media account(s), such as demanding passwords, determining who they can and cannot friend.

Cyberstalking (stalking you, and contacting you by messages, apps, websites, and/or social media.

Monitoring the partner’s behaviors and movements on and offline with technology.

Publishing your private information online.

Revenge porn/nonconsensual pornography.

Requiring 24/7 access by phone and text to the partner.

Sexting that isn’t agreed upon.

Sexually harassing the partner online.

Tagging pictures of you.

Using smart technology in the home to control the partner and

Emotional/Verbal Abuse


Emotional and verbal abuse is most likely the most common form of abuse in a relationship, and the one that is least likely to be reported as well as the least likely to prove. Many survivors have shared the devastation of the words and looks of their partners continuing on for an extended period even after the relationship is over.

Accusing you of cheating

Attempting to control what you wear (make up, clothing, etc.)

Blaming you for their abusive behaviors

Cheating and blaming you for it

Criticizing you

Damaging your belongings


Humiliating you

Insulting you

Isolating you from friends & family

Monitoring your activities/Demanding to know where you re going

Name calling

Telling you you’ll never find anyone better than them

Threatening you, your children or your pets



Financial Abuse


Many survivors don’t even consider that they are being abused financially or consider how many ways a partner can abuse them with their finances. See the different ways financial abuse can be perpetrated.

Borrowing money or making charges without repaying it

Claiming to make payments or pay bills in your name but not following through

Confiscating your paycheck or other sources of income

Criticizing and minimizing your job or choice of career

Criticizing every financial decision you make

Feeling entitled to your money or assets

Demanding that you turn over your paycheck, passwords, and credit cards but refusing to share theirs

Expecting you to pay for their bills or their obligations

Forcing you to sign financial documents without explanation

Harassing you at work by calling, texting or stopping by

Hiding or taking funds and putting them in a private account 

Intercepting or opening your bank statements and other financial records

Making large financial decisions without your input or consent

Pressuring you to quit your job – sometimes even using children as an excuse

Preventing you from working by hiding your keys, unhooking your car battery, taking your car without permission, or offering to babysit and then not showing up

Reducing your freedom to plan or budget

Refusing to collaborate on finances

Requiring that large, joint purchases be in their name only (such as car loans, mortgages, cell phones or apartment leases)

Requiring you to bail them out of difficult financial situations

Ruining your credit history by running up limits and then not paying the bills

Sabotaging your work responsibilities

Taking money or using credit cards without permission

Telling you where you can and cannot work

Threatening to lie to officials and claim you are “cheating or misusing benefits”

Trying to control your use of or access to money you have earned or saved

Using offers to help with your budget or financial decisions as a cover for gaining control over your finances

Using your assets for their personal benefit without asking

Withholding money from you or requiring you to ask for money


Physical Abuse


Hit, punch, kick, slap, pull your hair or other physical aggressive actions

Prevent you from contacting emergency services

Prevent you from sleeping or eating

Use weapons or objects that could hurt you, against you



Throwing things

Force feeding or denying you food

Physically restraining you

Reckless driving


Sexual Abuse