* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.
When we think of physical abuse, we normally imagine either kicking or punching, but real physical abuse experienced by people the world over, can mean so much more.
There are forms of physical abuse that some people may not be aware of, and it’s important to educate ourselves in these matters so that we can help to look out for ourselves and those around us.
If you want to find out more about what physical abuse really means, as well as each of its different forms, keep reading, as we take a look below.
What Is The Definition Of Physical Abuse?
When it comes to defining physical abuse, it can be incredibly difficult to summarize as it pertains to so many different things.
According to sources, physical abuse means intentionally causing harm or trauma, by inflicting pain through bodily contact.
Mental abuse, which often accompanies physical abuse, is defined as shaming, embarrassing, criticizing, or blaming somebody. The key difference resides between the physical and the verbal.
This appears to describe the type of physical abuse that all of us are familiar with. Hitting, kicking, and punching would all fall into this category.
What Does Physical Abuse Involve?
So, as we previously mentioned above, physical abuse doesn’t just pertain to hitting somebody. Physical abuse actually covers so much more, and inflicts pain on victims in all manner of different ways.
As well as hitting, physical abuse can also mean pulling somebody’s hair, handling them roughly, pushing, or biting. Because these fall under the category of being ‘physical’, they’re also classified within this category of abuse.
As well as this, physical abuse can mean withholding food, so the perpetrator might limit the food intake of the victim, or give strict regulations surrounding when they’re allowed to eat.
On the other end of the spectrum some abusers will force feed victims against their will, which is an act of dominance and control.
As well as this, there are some physically abusive behaviors that don’t even involve directly touching the victim.
For example, an abuser might take away a victim’s bedsheets, then leave the window open so that they get cold. They might refuse to close the window, and insist that they suffer sleeping in a cold room.
Another example of this would be reckless driving. Some physically abusive partners might drive at a speed which makes their partners uncomfortable, and refuse to slow down, putting their safety at risk.
Another type of physical abuse is confinement. Many victims of physical abuse will have suffered isolation, as it is a way for abusers to practice complete control over their lives.
This means disallowing the victim from going outside, and limiting the time that they’re allowed to spend with friends and family. This is all done in a bid for control and dominion over the victim’s life.
Another type of physical abuse is misuse of medication. Perhaps the abuser gives the victim an incorrect, or high dose of medication in a bid to keep them sedated. This is done to render the victim helpless, and unable to push against the abuse they’re experiencing.
Finally, another type of physical abuse involves restricting somebody. This could be something as simple as grabbing somebody’s hands and preventing them from moving, or go so far as to involve tying somebody to a chair.
As you can see, physical abuse covers a lot of different items, and isn’t just restricted to the more popularized forms of abuse that we see in the media.
Other Types Of Physical Abuse
Another kind of abuse that could be categorized as physical, is sexual abuse, something that many people have experienced at some point in their lives.
Sexual abuse is classified as being physical, because it involves participating in a physical act that is against another person’s will.
The most commonly known form of sexual abuse is rape. This means physically penetrating another person against their will. It means that the other person hasn’t given consent, but the act has taken place anyway. This can involve vaginal, anal, and oral penetration.
Rape can also be classified as something called ‘stealthing’. Stealthing is when somebody claims to be using protection, such as a condom, but they’re actually lying. This can end up in unwanted STDs and pregnancies.
Sexual abuse can also cover other acts of sexual violence that don’t actually involve penetration, but have the same kinds of damaging lasting effects.
Another type of sexual violence is harassment, and involves making the victim feel humilated or unsafe.
The abuser may be persistent, and constantly make advances toward the victim. Even if they protest, the abuser will continue to make them feel uncomfortable.
Another act of sexual abuse is purposefully intoxicating somebody in order to engage in sexual activity with them.
Abusers might administer their victims with medication, or simply force them to drink alchohol, then perfrom acts of sexual violence.
Sometimes the victims won’t know about their actions, and may have their drinks ‘spiked’, for example, without their knowledge.
Sexual abuse can also mean forcing a person to pose nude in photogrpahs. These photos taken by the user may be used as a form of blackmail.
The abuser may threaten to put the photographs online, or send them to friends and family as a way of controlling their victims.
Finally, another act of sexual violcence is knonm as FGM, or female genital mutilation. This involves a medical procedure carried out when a girl is between the age of 3 and 15.
It involves physically removing the external portion of the genitals. The practice has no medical benefits, and is in fact, incredibly damaging to women.
The primary reason why female genital mutilation happens, is to simply preserve a woman’s virginity, or to enhance the pleasure of future husbands.
Which Types Of Abuse Aren’t Physical?
As well as physical abuse, mental abuse often accompanies this kind of behavior. It is very rare that a victim will undergo physical abuse, without also being subject to psychological abuse from perpetrators too.
Some other types of abuse include emotional/psychological, where the victim is made to feel worthless by the abuser. This can be achieved through a number of different abusive tactics.
There is also financial abuse, where the abuser may take complete control of the victims money, sometimes giving them an ‘allowance’, of what they can spend.
Another type of abuse is characterized as neglect, where the abuser might place the victim in isolating conditions, and refuse to let them see friends and family, or provide any meaningful conversation.
To sum up, physical abuse can be classified as an act of violence toward another person. This could be sexual in nature, but not always.
Physical abuse has a whole range of different meanings that many people aren’t aware of, so recognizing the signs is incredibly important.