What Is Violence?

Violence is the act or threat of violence by one person towards another person.

Violence can occur in the context:

- Among family members or intimate partner relations
- Towards vulnerable adults

The frequency and the severity of the abuse usually increase as the relationship continues, especially if no help is sought or nothing is done to stop the violence.

Types Of Violence

Physical Violence

Definition: The use of force on another person to instill fear in them and to control them.

Examples of physical violence include pushing, pulling, slapping, pinching, punching, strangulation, throwing things at someone or hitting another person with an object (e.g. a book), kicking and stepping on a person.

Verbal / Emotional Violence

Definition: The use of vulgar or insulting words, put-downs or curses on another person to hurt them and cause them to feel low and unworthy.

Examples of verbal/emotional violence include rejecting or withdrawing affection or love from someone, using words or phrases like 'stupid', 'prostitute', 'idiot', 'you should just die' and so on. In the context of child abuse, it could also include ‘persistent hostility, ignoring, blaming, discriminating or blatant rejection of the child.’ (Taken from the National Stands for Protection of Children (2002), By Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports)

Psychological Violence

Definition: The use of threats to instill fear in another person and to control them.

Examples of psychological violence are the use of knife or weapons, the threat of suicide or the threat to kill or harm another person, stalking behaviours

Sexual Violence

Definition: The forcing of sexual behaviour by one person to another.

Examples of sexual violence includes forcing sex on another person, unwanted ('bad') touching or fondling of private areas of the body, exposure of a child to pornography or forcing someone to perform a lewd or sexual act.


Definition: The deliberate denial of basic needs, mainly in the context of children, the elderly and vulnerable persons like persons who are disabled or incapacitated.

Examples of neglect include failing to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing or denying an individual necessary medical care.

Coercive Control

Definition: Behaviours that an individual use to intentionally control or dominate his intimate partner.

Examples: Using Intimidation, Using Emotional Abuse, Using Isolation, Minimizing, Denying and Blaming, Using Children, Using Male Privilege, Using Economic Abuse and Using Coercion and Threats You can find more here

How Do I Know If I Am In An Abusive Relationship?

Your partner/spouse has a low self-esteem:

1. He/she is often obsessively jealous and possessive of you.
2. He/she tends to control your actions or moves. E.g. He/she controls who you meet and what you wear.
3. He/she may have had a history of abusive relationships or his/her parents or family members might have been abusive towards him or her.
4. He/she often has mood swings and/or an explosive temper.
5. He/she isolates you or takes you away from your family, friends, colleagues, etc.
6. He/she is emotionally and verbally abusive.
7. He/she denies the beating/abuse.
8. He/she tends to blame you or others.
9. He/she uses threats of suicide.

This list is non-exhaustive. Please speak to our social workers if you are concerned about that
you or someone you know might be in an abusive relationship.