DA – Physical Abuse

Physical Abuse


  1. Intentional, unwanted contact with another person's body.
  2. Threats of physical harm or threats to one's physical safety.


  • Hitting, Pushing, Shoving, Grabbing, Kicking, Scratching, Slapping, Pulling Hair, Being Spit On, etc.
  • Strangling
  • Pet abuse
  • Blocking an exit
  • Throwing/Breaking objects
  • Intimidating posture
  • Slamming doors
  • Reckless driving
  • Stalking
  • Punching a wall

Power and Control

The threat of physical harm is a power and control tactic that the abuser may use. The goal is to use this tactic to have you do what the abuser wants. Sometimes, the threats may be directed toward something else (friends, family, pets, property, etc.). What can happen is the abuser may use threats of physical harm until the Blow-Up/Abuse Stage where the abuser may actually place their hands on you, a loved one of yours, or destruction of your property.

At times, physical abuse overlaps with emotional abuse, because the threat (or action) of physical abuse may make the victim feel fearful, which is a part of the definition of emotional abuse. Also, sexual abuse is a form of physical abuse as well.