Physical abuse

Physical abuse can include lots of different types of violence, discomfort or deliberate harm to another person. It can include:

  • Pushing or pulling
  • Slapping or hitting
  • Pinching, scratching and biting
  • Cutting or using sharp objects
  • Kicking and kneeing
  • Punching
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Starving or refusing water
  • Drugging or refusing essential medicines
  • Choking, suffocating or strangling
  • Scalding, burning or setting alight
  • Drowning
  • Using objects to hurt by striking or throwing
  • Using weapons
  • Torture
  • Attempted murder
  • Murder

If you are living with physical abuse, you are living with the worry that your partner could hurt you at any time. The shock and pain when it happens will gradually give way to the fear that it will happen again. Violence in relationships tends to get more severe over time and to happen more often.

For women, during pregnancy and after a birth are particular risk times for violence, when abusive partners feel jealous or that they are losing control. Physical abuse may also increase when a person tries to end an abusive relationship.  Physical abuse has a terrible and sometimes life-threatening impact on the health and wellbeing of those affected.

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