Forms of Abuse

Abuse is not restricted by age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or economic status. CVIC specializes in supporting all victims and families impacted by interpersonal/relationship violence.

Domestic Abuse

Also referred to as intimate partner violence or relationship abuse, it is a pattern of controlling, threatening, degrading or violent behaviors that may include sexual abuse, used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate partner relationship.

Sexual Violence/Abuse

Being forced or manipulated into unwanted sexual activity without giving consent including rape, sexual harassment and sexual exploitation.

Dating Violence/Abuse

Most common in young adult relationships, dating abuse is a pattern of behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner.


A pattern of behavior directed at a person in a way that would cause a reasonable person to feel fearful and unsafe. It may escalate over time and lead to violence.

Abuse Later in Life

Mistreatment of an older adult committed by a person who has a special relationship (spouse, sibling, child, caregiver, friend) or mistreatment occurring in a residential care facility usually perpetrated by someone responsible to provide an element of care or protection.

Human Trafficking

Using force, fraud, coercion or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure a person into forced labor or sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking may include physical or sexual abuse, exploitation of substance use, intimidation or emotional abuse. Labor trafficking may include withholding earnings or denying needs, enforcing excessive working hours, or verbal abuse.

Types of Abuse

Abuse is a pattern of behaviors one person uses to gain power and control over another person. It’s not always physical abuse. Experiencing even one or two of these in a relationship may be an indication that you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship.

If you are a victim of abuse, remember it is not your fault and you do not need to be ashamed to seek help and support. For resources and help, contact CVIC.


When someone you’re in a personal relationship with is causing you physical injury, forcing you to have sex without consent, and/or using threats of physical injury to control you.


When someone forces you to engage in unwanted sexual activity, repeatedly accuses you of sexual activity with others, makes you fearful of saying no, or denying  you the use of contraception or protection from sexually transmitted diseases..


When someone you’re in a personal relationship uses tactics like humiliation, demeans you in public or private, undermines your confidence or sense of self-worth, or uses threats or verbal abuse to try and control you.


When someone is taking control of or limiting access to financial assets, restricting your ability to earn money /hold a job, forcing non-consensual debt accrual (like applying for credit cards or loans in your name without consent), you may be a victim of economic abuse.


When someone uses texting, social networking or other online sources to harass, stalk, bully or otherwise intimidate you and control your actions. This can include controlling who you can be friends with or follow on social media, sending unwanted or threatening emails/texts, or stealing your passwords and accessing your digital accounts or personal devices.


CVIC provides support and resources if you are experiencing abuse.

Reach out. You can access our support services anytime day or night.
Details here.

Effects of Abuse

Survivors of abuse or violence may experience a variety of ongoing physical, mental and/or emotional effects. Children and other adults who witness violence may also be impacted and experience effects. This is not an exhaustive list.

  • Bruises
  • Sprains or breaks
  • Shortness of breath/Panic attacks
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Changes in eating/sleeping
  • Post-traumatic stress: flashbacks, nightmares, extreme anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dissociation
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Apprehension about the future
  • Inability to trust
  • Unmotivated

Outreach promotion was supported  in part by Award No. 2018-V2-GX-0008 awarded by the Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice or grant-making component.