of J.B. TOLS.
I am an interior designer, photographer, blogger, advocate, adventurer, and mom to five boys. I love advocating for others and exploring new places--both near and far.

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September 19, 2019

What is considered abuse? Based on the book Broken and Battered by Muriel Canfield, she states that abuse is an assault on ones mind or body meant to make another comply to the attackers’ will. The assault can be physical, sexual, verbal, or psychological, financial or spiritual.


This is the most well known of the abuses and most of the time the only one truly acknowledged.  

The web defines it as: Physical abuse is abuse involving contact intended to cause feelings of intimidation, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm.

Types of physical abuse are taken from the Violence Prevention Initiative.

  • pushing;
  • shoving;
  • pinning or holding a person down;
  • confinement;
  • pinching;
  • hair-pulling;
  • slapping;
  • punching;
  • arm twisting;
  • kicking;
  • biting;
  • strangling;
  • choking;
  • burning;
  • overmedication;
  • assault with an object or weapon;
  • threats with an object or weapon;
  • stabbing; and
  • murder


Unfortunately, this one is tricky–well, it’s not tricky, really, but folk make it tricky. Sexual abuse is abuse, whether or not you are married. However, attackers feel they have a right to their victims bodies if they are married and victims tend to not realize that they have been victims of abuse if they are married. From experience, trust me when I say that a spouse CAN sexually abuse their partner. 

To add, the web defines sexual abuse as: a statutory offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat.

Types of sexual abuse are:

  • touching in a sexual manner against your will (i.e. kissing, grabbing, fondling);
  • forced sexual intercourse;
  • forcing you to perform sexual acts you find degrading or painful;
  • use of a weapon to make you comply with a sexual act;
  • beating sexual parts of your body;
  • exhibitionism (need to expose body parts to others);
  • denial of a woman’s sexuality;
  • humiliating, criticizing or trying to control a woman’s sexuality;
  • denial of sexual information and education (i.e. birth control);
  • withholding sexual affection;
  • exposure to AIDS or other sexually transmitted infections;
  • forced abortion or sterilization;
  • forced prostitution; and
  • unfounded allegations of promiscuity and/or infidelity.


Sadly, verbal abuse is, probably, a very common occurrence and widely accepted occurrence in both abusive relationships and ones not quite deemed abusive, as well.  It is the most common type of abuse. Unfortunately, with television sensationalizing verbal abuse, it is my opinion that most people verbally abuse one another without even knowing it, anymore.

Certainly, it is, also, the easiest one for an attacker to deny and hide.

The web defines it as: Verbal abuse (also called verbal attack or reviling) is a form of abusive behavior involving the use of language. It is a form of profanity that can occur with or without the use of expletives.

For clarity, another web definition is: described as a negative defining statement told to the person or about the person or by withholding any response thus defining the target as non-existent. If the abuser doesn’t immediately apologize and retract the defining statement, the relationship may be a verbally abusive one.

Types of verbal abuse are:

  • constant criticism;
  • cursing;
  • name calling;
  • repeated insults;
  • recalling your past mistakes;
  • expressing negative expectations;
  • expressing distrust;
  • threats of violence against you, your children or other family members; and
  • for immigrants, threats of deportation if you decide to leave.


I would say that this form of abuse encompasses ALL abuses. I cannot imagine, being a victim myself, that one cannot be physically, sexually or verbally abused without experiencing some form of psychological abuse, as well. 

The web defines it as:  also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Types of psychological abuse are:

  • threatening to harm you, your children or your family if you leave;
  • threatening to harm themselves;
  • threats of violence;
  • threats of abandonment;
  • destruction of your personal property;
  • social isolation from your family and friends;
  • confinement to the home;
  • verbal aggression; and
  • constant humiliation.


I endured this abuse from day one and every single day after; it is real. However, I think that the whole category can fit under emotional and psychological abuse if it is a matter of withholding money. When I think that financial abuse stands alone is when your attacker goes out of his way to hurt your credit or financial standing so that you are unable to work, obtain financing, open new accounts with utility services and such. 

The web defines it as: illegal or unauthorized use of a person’s property, money, pension book or other valuables (including changing the person’s will to name the abuser as heir), often fraudulently obtaining power of attorney, followed by deprivation of money or other property, or by eviction from own home. 

Types of financial abuse are:

  • destruction of your personal property;
  • not allowing you to attend school;
  • forcing you to work outside the home;
  • refusing to let you work outside the home;
  • controlling your choice of occupation;
  • forbidding you to have access to the family income and bank accounts;
  • giving you an allowance and requiring justification for all money spent;
  • taking money needed for the care of the family;
  • refusal to contribute financially to family; and
  • denying access to basic needs such as food and health care.


As I have stated on other pages within this website, I am a christian woman. So, I have been involved with other christian men. For one, keep in mind that just because one goes to church it does NOT mean that they are Christian. For second, Christians are a work in progress no more or less than anyone else. So, the behavior of my attacker or that of other attackers is NOT indicative of Christians as a whole. The individual is at fault–not Christ.

With that said, I endured spiritual abuse to very extreme degrees. People with mental illnesses that cause one to elevate themselves to God-like status are very prone to abuse scripture to gain control over their victim. It is mind-control and brain-washing. It is my opinion that this is the most dangerous, most severe and most frightening form of abuse. This is because, an attacker can go to such lengths as to even kill their abuser without even placing their hands on them.

An Abuse of Ones Foundation

I am a very strong and very stubborn woman, but even I got to a point of not wanting to live–not because of any of the other forms of abuse, but because of the spiritual abuse. I am a strong believer in sin, Hell and Heaven and Gods will. When dealing spiritually you have so many layers of complexities. A victim is trying to maneuver an abusive relationship while pleasing God and not walking in sin–and then to have an attacker twist biblical truths is nothing short of…well…maddening.

The web defines it as:  abuse administered under the guise of religion, including harassment or humiliation, possibly resulting in psychological trauma. Religious abuse may also include misuse of religion for selfish, secular, or ideological ends such as the abuse of a clerical position, as in the Catholic sex abuse cases.

Of course, this definition reflects the same view as many–anyone who has seen a movie! Most times it is someone in a clerical position abusing their authority over a church member or the like. We have all heard stories about catholic priests to the point that it has become a stereotype. I urge one to not lose sight that anyone in power can use spiritual beliefs to gain control over their victim. They do not have to be a pastor or priest to do so. 

Types of Spiritual Abuse

  • trying to prevent you from practicing your religious or spiritual beliefs;
  • making fun of your religious or spiritual beliefs;
  • forcing you to raise your children in another religion or spiritual choice; and
  • using your religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate, dominate or control you.

This list in not exhaustive. There are other forms, I am sure. If you are familiar with anything listed above or you are someone who is doing any of the forms of abuse listed above, seek help. Our society has become pretty numb to certain forms of abuse with all of the television shows on the TV today. So, if you find that you exhibit any of these traits–even unknowingly, make it your goal to change everyday; Be a better you each and everyday.  

If you are being abused, make today your first day working towards health and freedom. Reach out and get the help that you need to experience a happy and healthy life; it is out there. 

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