Abuse and violence may seem interchangeable, but understand their views are different. Violence is a specific type of abuse that involves physical harm. One person may abuse another without violence. Abuse takes on a variety of shapes and forms (e.g., mental, emotional, physical, economical, etc.) but always the abuser seeks to take control over another. When this occurs, there is an imbalance of power between the abuser and victim. Acts of violence or abuse are not limited to criminals—the violator can live next door or be a family member. Any form of abuse is damaging to the level it causes the victim to devalue and doubt self. The abuser can then readily take control over his or her victim. It’s important to know abuse and violence are choices, as are our responses to that abuse or violence.
In this section, readers will familiarize themselves with levels of abuse and violence and the various forms of how they are revealed. It’s known that abuse occurs when one hurts another. Since the perpetrator doesn’t wear an abusive “name tag,” forms of abuse can be hard to identify. To get our creative minds connected with this topic, think of some other words you associate with abuse (similar to Section 1 when we identified the faces of toxicity). It may help to reflect on times when you’ve seen or experienced abuse or violence.
Next, you’ll find an incomplete list of many forms of abuse and violence. For each, fill in the blanks and circle its type. In order to be able to stand against abuse and violence, you have to be able to identify each. Beneath each type, define it and what it looks like when it’s happening. A few of the answers have been filled in to give you an idea.
Ne _ _ _ _ _ (abuse or violence or neither)
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