Types of Abuse

There are different types of abuse in Violence and each type of abuse has its red flags to take note of.

  1. Physical

These are acts which cause physical pain or injury, such as beating, pushing, misusing medication, using wrongful restraints and weapons, destruction of properties and things, deprivation of basic well-being essentials (i.e. food and sleep) or any methods to limit and/or confine the freedom of movement.

Signs and Symptoms could include but not limited to:

  • A history of unexplained and multiple injuries at different stages of healing;
  • Unexplained hair or weight loss
  • Unexplained burns or broken bones; and
  • Delay in reporting and obtaining medical treatment


  1. Emotional and Psychological

These are acts which cause emotional and psychological distress, including threatening, humiliating, blaming, subject the victim to constant comparison, controlling the victim’s finances and lifestyle habits (i.e. what to wear), insulting, intimidation, bullying, harassing or isolating the victim from her own family members.

Signs and Symptoms could include but not limited to:

  • Depression
  • High anxiety
  • Neurotic disorders (i.e. insomnia)
  • Social withdrawal and/or isolation; and
  • Suicidal tendencies and behaviours


  1. Sexual

These are acts of any form of forced and/or unwanted sexual activity, against her will or even when she is unable to give consent due to her mental disability/lack of mental ability. These acts can include: unwanted exposure to pornography, sexual language, using sex to coerce compliance, intrusive acts such as rape as well.

Signs and Symptoms could include but not limited to:

  • Torn or stained undergarments
  • Pain, itching or injuries in the genital areas; and
  • Feelings of guilt or shame


  1. Financial

These are acts which the perpetrator can forcefully take control over bank accounts, financial transactions, will-making, transference of property and other deals. Financial abuse can also be withholding the financial freedom from the victim.

Signs and Symptoms could include but not limited to:

  • Unexplained withdrawal of money from victim’s band account, beyond the victim’s normal needs.
  • Denial of access to the victim’s own property or funds; and
  • Perpetrator’s refusal to work or contribute to the household


  1. Isolation/Neglect

This type of abuse is when the victim does not get sufficient food, housing, clothing, physical, and medical care, and financial support.

Signs and Symptoms could include but not limited to:

  • Poor nutrition;
  • Poor hygiene;
  • Dirty or unsuitable clothing; and
  • Medical or practical needs ignored


Source: Stop Family Violence Singapore. (n.d.). Family Violence Destroy Lives (Stop Abuse of Vulnerable Adults) [Brochure]. Singapore: Author.