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What is Abuse?

Identifying/Recognizing Abuse is the first step.
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Abuse Def. 1

Types of Abuse

Understanding common types of abuse will better prepare you to identify them when you see them.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an escalating pattern of abuse where one partner in an intimate relationship controls the other through force, intimidation, or the threat of violence. Abuse comes in many forms:


• Physical
• Sexual
•Destructive Acts

Sexual Assault & Rape

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact or sexual attention committed by force, threats, bribes, manipulation, pressure, tricks or violence.

It includes rape and attempted rape, child molestation, incest and sexual harassment.

Sexual assault is a terrifying and often brutal crime: assailants can be strangers, acquaintances, intimate partners, friends or family members.

It is never the victims fault!


***** If you require emergency assistance, please call 911 immediately! *****


Victims of stalking can not predict what stalkers will do but can determine their own responses to the stalking behavior. Personal safety and harm prevention is of the utmost importance for victims. While victims cannot control the stalking behavior, they can be empowered to take steps to keep themselves, family and loved ones safe. The creation of a safety plan can assist victims in doing this. 


Non-Physical Abuse

Your partner doesn't have to physical hit you in order for abuse to happen. Abuse happens in many forms including, but not limited to psychological, verbal abuse, threats, using technology against you and financial manipulation. Any form of power and control over you is considered abuse. If you think you are in an abusive relationship, call the Wesley Shelter.



Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behaviors utilized by one partner (the batterer or abuser) to exert and maintain control over another person (the survivor or victim) where there exists an intimate and/or dependent relationship.


Experts believe that domestic violence occurs in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community with the same amount of or higher frequency and severity as in the heterosexual community. Society’s long history of entrenched racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia often prevents LGBTQ victims of domestic violence from seeking help from the police, legal and court systems for fear of discrimination or bias.


Teen Dating

According to the CDC teen dating violence (TDV) is a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs between two people in a close relationship. Young adult dating violence is a big problem, affecting youth in every community across the nation. Learn the facts below. 

Domestic Violence
Sexual Assault
Non Physical Abuse
Teen Dating

How To Help a Friend/Family Member

Do you have a friend in an abusive relationship? Start by reassuring them it is not their fault, tell them they do not deserve to be hurt, and let them know their feelings are normal and valid. 

For a national list of safe places and additional information on how to be safe, get help, and be smart, please visit

To learn more detailed tips on how to help a friend in an abusive relationship, click the button below. 

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