Types of abuse

Some common forms of abuse are:

Physical abuse: hitting, kicking or punching a woman anywhere in the body; pulling hair; pushing her about; using weapons or other objects to harm her.

Sexual abuse: forcing a woman to have sex (rape), to have unprotected sex resulting in pregnancy and infections, to do sexual things she does not want to do.

Emotional abuse: not letting a woman see friends or family; insulting and criticising her and how she looks or behaves; and doing this in front of the children and family; telling her that she is shaming the family.

Controlling a woman: following her to work and back; constantly texting her to check where she is and what she is doing; not giving her any money; forcing her to work unpaid in the family business; not letting her study at college/university; not letting her work outside the home; locking her up; taking away her phone/sim card.

Threatening a woman: threatening to kill her or to kill themselves; to take the children from her; to take her overseas; to have her deported.

Dowry abuse

Sometimes a husband or family abuses a woman over the dowry she brings to a marriage, including a forced marriage. If this is happening to you or someone you know, contact Shakti immediately.

‘Honour-based’ abuse

Some families/communities abuse women, saying it is because they want to protect the family or community ‘honour’ or ‘izzat’.

They may say that if women do certain things, they are going against the family or community culture or religion. Examples are:

  • Having a relationship with someone.
  • Refusing a forced marriage.
  • Wearing make-up or certain clothes or socialising in a way which the family/community disapproves of.
  • Being, or coming out as, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex.

‘Honour-based’ abuse is domestic abuse.

What it can involve:

  • Harming a woman physically and sexually.
  • Controlling and isolating her (and other emotional abuse).
  • Forcing her to marry.

If this is happening to you or someone you know, contact Shakti immediately. You can also phone the police.