Skip to Main Content

What are the types of violence in intimate relationships?

Violence is found everywhere in the world and can show up in different ways in different relationships. Intimate relationships are where violence rears its ugly head the most because people are mostly likely to take out their frustration, stress, low self-esteem problems and self-doubts on those closest to them – family and partners.

Generally, there are three different types of abuse associated with domestic violence–physical, sexual, and emotional.  But there are several other nuances that divide these groups into further specific types of violence.

In marriage and dating relationships, violence can be categorized as follows: 

Economic Violence/Domination – controlling your partner’s finances, limiting their finances, keeping money away from them, restricting their spending and intimidation using financial resources.

Sexual Violence – any sexual advances or relations against your partner’s wishes or will; forcing them knowingly or unknowingly to have unprotected sex; forcing them to have children, use of sexual toys or objects or even weapons is part of this. Forced participation in the kinds of sexual activities or relationships your partner does not want or enjoy is part of this. Sexual violence seems to escalate with time if not stopped immediately.

Emotional/Psychologicial violence is a very expansive type of violence. manipulation, making your partner feel bad about themselves; making them feel inadequate, less than. Intimidation is also part of emotional violence.

Informational violence – keeping important information from your partner; using information to blackmail and intimidate your partner.

Physical – beating, shoving, slapping, destruction of property, unwanted touching of your partner. 

Using Children to blackmail, manipulate, control and harass the victim, threatening to take your kids away or that you will lose your kids to fostercare or they will be taken away from you. 

Threats of hurting you, you losing something that’s important to you, threats of their suicide; threats of deportation.

Extreme Controlling Behavior.  The abuser partner controls their victim by constantly monitoring their phone calls, who they socialize with, their conversations, their actions, their activities, who their companions are, always needing to know what the victim is doing, thinking, where they are at all times.  This is very intrusive, leaving you no space to breathe on your own. Possessiveness and jealousy.

Isolation.  The abusive spouse slowly isolates their victim from friends, acquaintances, family and control and restrict who their partner has contact with.  The abuser feels threatened by anyone who may influence the victim into leaving him or realizing they are abused.

We often see abuse in marriages in our practice where partners have different immigration statuses. Marriages where one partner is a US citizen or green card holder while the other still has unresolved immigration status are where immigration status is used as an additional tool of abuse to manipulate, scare, intimidate and control the undocumented partner into doing the US Citizen partner’s will.   

The immigrant spouse is threatened with deportation, losing their kids, their children not getting legalized, with being put in Immigration jail, constantly mocked and laughed at and belittled with being “an illegal” or being invisible for help by police and authorities due to their undocumented status. Because of being undocumented, thousands of partner-on-partner crimes go unreported and medical help is not given when the undocumented partner suffers in silence due to fear of becoming visible to the hospital and government officials in fear of deportation.

There is help, though, for abuse victims in immigration marriages. They can get VAWA or T or U Visa for victims of violence on immigrants.  USCIS has various laws and regulations in place to help.

Violence inflicted on immigrant women and men is ugly, but there is help and there is a way out.

Call us today to discuss your personal situation and for help with legalizing in US as a partner who has been victimized by a US Citizen or GC holder marriage.

Shepelsky Law
Tel: (718) 769-6352