Kathryn Maietta, LCSW

HomeDomestic AbuseAbout Me

Definitions of Domestic Abuse
1. "Domestic abuse is a series of acts that: 
      a) causes the victim to do something she doesn't want to do; and/or
      b) prevents her from doing something she wants to do; and/or
      c) causes her to be afraid."

2.  Domestic abuse is not about losing control, but a systematic method of asserting and
      maintaining, power and control over an intimate partner, or a situation involving an intimate           partner.

3.  Characteristics of domestic abuse include: 
      a) blaming someone else for the abuse;
      b) denying the abuse ever occurred; and
      c) minimizing the extent and/or impact of the abuse.
Selected Examples of Physical Abuse
1.  Physical Contact: slapped your victim; punched your victim; strangled your victim.

2.  Restraint: mechanically and/or physically disabled your victim's car; blocked your victim's
      exit from a room, car and/or home; prevented your her from using the telephone.

3.  Weapons: used weapons against your her; threatened your victim with a weapon;
      threatened to buy and use a weapon on her/her children and/or pets.

4.  Physical Effects: caused bleeding; bruising; broken bones/teeth; miscarriage; disfigurement;
      visits to a doctor/emergency department.
Selected Examples of Emotional Abuse
1.  Criticism: criticized your victim's family or friends; criticized the way she looks, her                            intelligence or the way she does things; accused your victim of abusing you.

2.  Economic Abuse: made your victim account for her spending; withheld child support
     payments; taken money from your victim without her knowledge and/or against her will.

3.  Emotional Withholding: withheld information from your victim and/or lied to her; did
     not give your victim validation or attention; didn't respect your victim's feelings, opinions, 
     rights and/or privacy. 

4.  Harassment: followed your victim around; checked up on your victim; embarrassed your
     victim in public.

5.  Intimidation: claimed to be "the authority", or to know the truth; used your size to
     intimidate your victim; thrown things at or toward her. 

6.  Isolation: turned mutual friends and/or family members against your victim; denied her
      access to telephone or the mail; withheld the car or car keys from your victim.

7.  Pressure Tactics: badgered your victim; shouted over your victim; rushed your victim to
     make decisions.

8.  Threats: threatened to injure or kill your victim, her friends and/or her family; threatened
      to injure or kill yourself; threatened to call DHHS and report her as an unfit parent.

9.  Used Children: criticized your victim to the children; undermined your victim's authority
      with the children; denied paternity.

10. Abused Pets: withheld food, water and/or shelter to a family pet; hitting, kicking and/or
      throwing a family pet; maimed or killed a family pet.
Selected Examples of Verbal Abuse
  • "You can't do anything right" 
  • "No one will ever want you but me"
  • "It'll never happen again" 

Selected Examples of Sexual Abuse
1. Contact: pressured or forced your victim to have sex; had affairs; forced your victim to
    engage in risky and/or unsafe sexual behaviors, expose her to sexually transmitted diseasses.

2. Coercion: pressured your victim to look at pornography; made degrading sexual comments
    to your victim; made threats to have affairs.

3. Male Privilege: been the "master of the castle"; used the "good old boy network"; used "might          vs. right".
If you feel you have been a victim of domestic abuse, please contact: 
  • Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence at www.mcedv.org or call 1 866 834-4357

If you feel you have been a victim of sexual assault, please contact:

​Examples and Types of Domestic Abuse