Physical abuse

What is physical abuse?

Physical abuse happens when a person uses physical force against another person. Physical abuse can start slowly and inconspicuously, for example with throwing an object or a slap, and get more intense or worse over time.

Signs of physical abuse

A person can experience many different types of physical abuse. Physical abuse includes:

  • shaking, slapping, pushing, punching or scratching
  • kicking
  • spitting or biting
  • trying to strangle or choke
  • using weapons
  • driving dangerously
  • destroying property and throwing things
  • abuse of children or pets
  • locking someone out of their house or in the house
  • sleep and food deprivation
  • forced feeding
  • physical restraint e.g. pinning against the wall or bed.

Abusive relationships can move through a cycle of violence that includes periods of tension and calm. This can make it difficult to leave a physically abusive relationship.

Learn more about the other types of abuse.

What to do if you are experiencing physical abuse

If you are in an abusive relationship or need to talk to someone, you can find help now.

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