It occurs when equality, mutual respect and power are out of balance. There are many forms of abuse, as one can imagine. They always take place in relationships using the methods that disempower people. The most obvious method is physical assault or bullying of weaker individuals, including not only children and women but also men. Other sources of power that can be used to hurt are: withholding finances/financial information, insulting words, guilt or fear mongering, intense emotions, neglect, emotional withdrawal, sexual withdrawal, and employment, political or spiritual abuse.
- Physical abuse could range from destroying property to violent personal interactions.
- Sexual abuse is defined as forced, coerced intimate relations without your willing consent. Children, young teens and even powerless victims by definition are not capable of giving consent. It also includes forcing you to watch pornography or participate in sexual experiences that you are not comfortable with.
- Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse can be defined as taunting, ignoring, insulting, yelling, blaming, threatening, accusing, labeling and holding back approval as a form of punishment.
- Financial abuse is the neglect of or withholding of financial information, creating dependency and/or reduction in the human condition.
- Spiritual abuse is the misuse of authority, scriptures, or position in order to intimidate, shame, manipulate, guilt or control.