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13 Forms of Domestic Abuse

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

If you are interested in educating yourself about sex addiction and the harmful impact it has had on the spouse, I highly recommend visiting This organization has helped many men and women on their path to recovery. They offer one-on-one counseling, recovery groups for both men and women, support groups, blogs, and more, so you do not have to feel alone. I have used the services they offer many times, and have never walked away disappointed.

The Center for Peace, also offered through BTR, is a program specific for men who are seeking true recovery, not just sobriety. (Recovery encompasses the many behaviors that accompanied the sexually acting out, as outlined below.)

The 13 Forms of Domestic Abuse

From BTR. org by Anne Blythe

1) Child Abuse

  • threatening to harm children

  • threatening to take children away

  • refusing to comply with child support

  • using children as leverage

  • belittling you in front of children

  • using children to keep you silent

  • abusing your children

2) Cultural Abuse

  • using culture as an excuse for mistreatment

  • putting down your culture

  • forcing you to accept or embrace his culture

  • isolating you from mainstream cultural practices

  • using culture to keep you silent

  • using language barriers to isolate you

  • not providing translation when you can’t understand

3) Emotional Abuse

  • incessant teasing

  • invalidating your feelings

  • using guilt to manipulate you

  • blame you for everything

  • acting jealous (calling it protective)

  • threatening you

  • withholding affection

  • waking you up from sleep

  • stalking your whereabouts

  • stalking your social media/electronic devices

  • giving you the silent treatment

  • lying or omission of truth

4) Financial Abuse

  • limiting your access to money

  • not sharing bank accounts

  • requiring an account of every penny spent

  • making you ask for spending money

  • controlling the income and cash flow

  • making financial decisions without you

  • closing accounts without telling you

  • creating debt you didn’t agree with or know about

  • wasting resources

  • not paying child support

  • taking care of their own needs but neglecting yours or the children’s

  • calling welfare to interfere with income

  • confiscating your income or cash

5) Intellectual Abuse

  • saying you’re over-sensitive

  • saying you’re crazy

  • manipulating information or facts

  • attacking your ideas

  • devaluing your opinions

  • demanding perfection

  • playing head games

  • making you prove things

  • shaming your tastes

  • insulting your education

  • dumbing you down

6) Pets & Property Abuse

  • destroying property

  • breaking or smashing things

  • punching walls

  • slamming doors

  • hurting pets

  • damaging your car

  • confiscating your car keys

  • keeping your identification or Driver’s License

  • controlling your access to GPS or computers/phones

  • selling items w/o telling you

  • keeping cash from selling your things

  • threatening to do any of the above

7) Physical Abuse

  • driving too fast or recklessly

  • slapping or hitting

  • kicking, punching, or biting

  • pinching or twisting

  • restraining you

  • choking you

  • spitting on you

  • intimidating you with actions or gestures

  • throwing things at you

  • using items other than hands to hurt you

  • locking you out of the house

  • making you sleep outside

  • blocking exits, not letting you leave

8) Psychological Abuse

  • saying things and then denying it later (gaslighting)

  • intimidating you with words or gestures or actions

  • displaying weapons

  • threatening to commit suicide

  • threatening to hurt you

  • threatening to kill you

  • minimizing actions or threats after the fact

  • making it sound like you misunderstood or made it up

  • controlling your access to food

  • dictating what you eat

  • using gestures or body language to control you through fear

9) Sexual Abuse

  • using pornography

  • demanding that you use pornography

  • demanding sex as payment

  • withholding sex

  • criticizing your body sexually

  • comparing your sexuality to others

  • having an affair

  • threatening to have an affair

  • forcing sex

  • manipulating sex

  • sexual put-downs

  • sexually abusing others

10) Social Abuse

  • isolating you from friends

  • isolating you from family

  • monitoring your phone calls

  • monitoring your emails/social media

  • monitoring your mileage

  • controlling who you are allowed to see or talk to

  • controlling your freedom to work

  • controlling your freedom to get education

  • keeping you at home

  • not allowing equal access to social interaction

  • telling you not to talk about your relationship with other people

11) Spiritual Abuse

  • using scripture to excuse abusive behavior

  • using scripture to manipulate you

  • twisting scripture to gain power

  • putting down your beliefs

  • isolating you from your faith community

  • using his church to his advantage over you

  • refusing to get counseling

  • dictating who you are allowed to see for counseling

  • using scripture to keep you silent

  • soul-destroying behaviors

12) Verbal Abuse

  • calling you names

  • swearing at you

  • yelling or screaming

  • using sarcasm to put you down

  • being condescending

  • insulting you

  • body shaming you

  • cutting you off in conversation

  • telling you to be quiet around other people

  • intimidating you

13) Power Abuse Lies at the Core of All Abusive Systems

  • creates chaos and conflict by turning people against each other, misrepresenting situations

  • twists past events to gain control

  • credit hog — acts like they get everything done, doesn’t give healthy credit where it’s due

  • delusions of grandeur, believes they are smarter/wiser/stronger/richer/more powerful than they are

  • refuses to get counseling, refuses to allow spouse to get counseling

  • projecting addictions as spouse’s fault w/o taking responsibility

  • racist/elitist — diminishes/ridicules culture, color, gender, age, status —believes own identity is superior

  • obsessed with being “respected,” may get aggressive to peers/children/elderly if perceives they are acting with “disrespect”

  • entitled, act as if they’re better than others, others should give way to their preferences, others should take care of their needs.


Technology Abuse (can include, but not limited to...)

  • Acting out sexually on devices, such as phones and computers.

  • Creates fake Facebook or social media account

  • Signs in on wife’s social media account to view other women

  • Uses devices to view porn

  • Signs up on dating sites, listing himself as “single” or “divorced” or creates fake identity.

  • Sexting/sending nude pictures through computer or phones

  • Erasing history on computers

  • Signs in under a different name, whether made up or another member in the family, to act out sexually, hide accounts, etc.

  • Tracking/stalking spouse location via GPS or 360 app

  • Putting a filter on all devices, but savvy enough to go around them at any time to still act out.

  • “Safe searches”…googling words or phrases that seem “innocent” with the intent to come across images to feed sex addiction.

  • Channel surfing…intentionally going channel to channel on TV to “stumble” across sexual content.

  • Joining online chat rooms

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