Hesperian Health Guides
Kinds of Violence
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There are many different ways that a man tries to gain power over a woman. Beating is only one of them. But all of them can hurt a woman.
Imagine that the circle below is a wheel. Power and control are at the center of the wheel because they are the reasons behind all of the actions. Each section of the wheel is a behavior that a violent man may use to control a woman. Violence is the rim of the wheel—what holds it together and gives it strength.
- Emotional Abuse: The man insults the woman, puts her down, or makes her think she is going crazy.
- Controlling Money: The man tries to keep the woman from getting a job or making her own money. He makes her ask him for any money she needs. Or he may force her to work and then take the money she earns.
- Sexual Abuse: The man makes the woman do sexual things against her will, or physically attacks the sexual parts of her body. He treats her like an object.
- Blaming Her: The man says that the abuse did not really happen, that it was not serious, or that it was the woman’s fault.
- Using Children: The man uses the children to make the woman feel guilty, or to hurt her.
- Because He Is a 'Man': The man uses the fact that he is a man as an excuse to treat the woman like a servant. He makes all the decisions and tells her that, as a woman, she has no right to object.
- Making Threats: The man uses a look, action, tone of voice, or makes threats that make the woman feel afraid that he will hurt her.
- Isolation: The man controls everything the woman does — who she sees and talks to, and where she goes.