What is Abuse? | Western Cape Government

What is Abuse?

Information on types of abuse

There are 5 main types of abuse, namely:

1. Physical abuse:

  • Being punched, slapped, kicked, tied up, beaten.
  • Sustaining internal injuries.
  • Being assaulted with objects, guns or knives.
  • Being pushed around.

2. Sexual abuse:

  • Rape.
  • Unwelcome sexual advances and harrasment that is of a sexual nature.
  • Being forced into sexual acts.
  • Constant accusations of sexual infidelity.
  • Constant verbal abuse, which focuses on sexual slurs e.g. slut, whore.
  • Being forced to watch pornography and act out pornographic material.
  • Being forced to have sexual intercourse with friends or colleagues.

3. Economic abuse:

  • Prevented from getting or keeping a job.
  • Being forced to hand over your salary.
  • Forced to ask for money and /or to sign for debts or loans.
  • Dealing with a partner or spouse who gambles all the household money.
  • Working without remuneration.
  • Deliberate damage to property or possessions.
  • Not informing your partner or spouse that you have access to family income.

4. Emotional and verbal abuse:

  • Enduring constant verbal abuse e.g. swearing and shouting.
  • Being degraded publicly and privately.
  • Being restricted to have relations with persons outside the home.
  • Jealous and possessive tendencies and instilling fear into your partner or spouse.
  • Being blamed for all your partner's or spouse's inadequacies.
  • Having constant affairs outside the home.
  • Using threats of violence.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Made to feel bad about yourself or guilty all the time.

5. Isolation:

  • Being locked up in the home.
  • Preventing or making it difficult for you to see friends or relatives.
  • Monitoring phone calls and telling you where you can and can't go.


The content on this page was last updated on 3 June 2019