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Relationships Quick Answers



What is Domestic Violence?

There are four types of domestic violence:

  • Physical abuse is what most people think of when they think of domestic violence. Physical abuse includes hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, choking, shoving, being hit with objects, or being held against one's will.
  • Emotional abuse includes yelling, name-calling, repeated insults, isolation, threats, or hurting pets. Emotional abuse also includes "crazy-making," a process that questions the victim's sense of what is real and what isn't. 
  • Sexual abuse includes, among other things, unwanted sexual touching, demanding sex, and rape. Marital rape is also a type of sexual abuse. Marital rape is any sexual activity by a married or cohabiting partner that is performed without the consent of the other partner.
  • Stalking includes following someone when they leave the house, harassing phone calls, purposefully running into the victim in public places, and calling or stopping by the partner's work too often.


Ann Huey, Graduate Student, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Missouri-Columbia

Jennifer Hardesty, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University

Kim Leon, Former State Extension Specialist, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Missouri-Columbia





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Last update: Wednesday, August 20, 2008




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