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Spousal Abuse essay
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Spousal Abuse. Custom Spousal Abuse Essay Writing Service || Spousal Abuse Essay samples, help


This research paper is a discussion on the types of abuse that spouses inflict on each other. The research also focuses on the psychological benefit that the abuser receive and the possible reasons why the abused do not leave.


Spousal abuse regards to violence that is inflicted on either a wife or a husband or partners of the same sex. It can equally refer to a couple living together. Cruelty that is related to mind is said to be a term that is common in a court when divorce is taking place. The same explanation is used to elaborate on abuse that is in a marriage, abuse that does not include physical abuse or violence but that made the staying together of a couple impossible. For any individual interested in knowing what abuse entails, looking for the correct definition of mental cruelty and how is evident may be a good beginning (Hunt, 2010).

Domestic abuse or violence can catch up with anyone yet many do not take it seriously. This normally happens when the abuse is psychological as opposed to physical one. When the abuse is emotional, it can cause far-reaching effects on the victim although such cases are minimal. The first step towards ending spousal abuse is through admitting. It is advisable for one not to fear the person they love most. Spousal abuse is witnessed when an individual attempts to dominate a love affair or even marriage.

The different types of spousal abuse entail economic abuse, emotional abuse, stalking, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and verbal abuse. The above-mentioned types of abuses are found in intimate relationships. This mostly happens in cases where the two are living together in the same house, are dating, or even while in courtship. These abuses results to married people not have any romantic affair. In some cases, one of the spouses may end up dying due to consistent abusive behavior. In others, the relationship is ended when the abuse persists; this mainly occurs when the partners agree to end the relationship or a decision by one of the partners.

Experts argue that, it is not proper to differentiate between physical abuse and emotional abuse. The reason behind this is that physical abuse is known for inflicting psychological and emotional abuse to the abused and the two are meant to bring control alongside dominance over the other party (Foyster, 2005). However, it is possible for each of the named to occur solely. Indeed, it is notable that emotional abuse occurs alone without influence of others. Therefore, although there is a general conclusion that one form of abuse triggers the other, all of them can come on their own. In fact, for reasons better known by researchers, each of the abuse is solely studied although the practice is taking a different direction as each progress and matures.


The different types of abuse that spouses inflict on each other include:

  • Emotional abuse or verbal abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Stalking
  • Economic abuse
  • Social isolation abuse
  • Sexual abuse

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is also known as verbal abuse or psychological abuse. This type of abuse has been closely linked with verbal acts, which normally hurt the other party. In the same breadth, nonverbal actions are equally associated with emotional abuse. These actions are meant to terrorize the abused without use of force in a physical perspective. Emotional abuse inflicts mental harm and negative influence on individual's well being (Foyster, 2005). Continued emotional abuse slowly causes destruction on the other party's inner self. Eventually, the vital ideas of the abused are looked down upon as well as the perception.

Emotional abuse, commonly known as psychological abuse is seen as important because the abused prefers it to physical abuse. In a nut shell, emotional abuse involves: yelling, looking down upon the other partner in presence of others, calling the other person names, abusing one's spouse, looking down upon the other person's physical appearance, making one's spouse do things which are demeaning, toying around with the other person's feelings, looking at the other person like a servant, getting angry when chores are not taken care of, supervising the whereabouts of one's partner and making gestures which are threatening (Johnson & Ferraro, 2000).

In addition, psychological abuse equally entails the following: walking out of a room when there is an intense argument, arriving at decisions that affect the other partner without their approval, behaving in a jealous manner in regard to the other partner's friends, monitoring the mobile phone of one's spouse, refusal to address issues affecting both parties, not being affectionate, toying with the idea of withdrawing from a relationship, keeping finances to oneself while the other partner is suffering, refusing to take part in household chores, denying one's partner a chance to leave home alone, admitting that the other partner's feelings are crazy, blaming one's problem on the spouse, preventing the spouse from going to school or place work, posing a threat on one's life among other things (Loring, 1994).

The decision by one of the partners to monitor the other's phone is an indication of insecure feelings. When this happens, the other partner will tend to keep a close eye on everything that the spouse does. This goes on to an extent of choosing friends for one's collaborate something that is not good. Persistent emotional abuse can lead to loss of trust in one's partner and if not put under check, the relationship can collapse.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse involves contact that is meant to cause painful feelings and injury or other harms that are physically inflicted. Physical abuse involves hitting, which can cause injuries on the body of the abused and punching that can even result to ugly marks on the victim's body (Hunt, 2010). When a spouse slaps the other partner, it is not a sign of love but jealous and selfishness that can lead to the break up of the two. Any physical harm inflicted on a spouse is not good as it can sometimes remain permanent and have far-reaching effects on the life of the victim.

Experts deduce that physical abuse can even include acts of refusing the other spouse to seek medical attention and not giving the other partner enough time to sleep. To some extent, when one spouse is forced to engage in such acts such as taking alcohol against his/her wish, it can amount to physical abuse. There are cases of targeting the other partner's children in attempt to inflict psychological harm to the abused (Johnson & Ferraro, 2000). This also amounts to physical abuse. When the other intimidates a partner, it is physical abuse and there is need to stop it immediately. Studies in the United States reveal that many spouses are victims of physical abuse but choose to keep mum about it.

Although physical abuse may happen just once or at infrequent intervals, it is equally consistent in some situations and it becomes worse over time. In some situations, victims have faced death yet others are in a critical condition nursing bruises. A physical abuse like spitting on one's partner is not only shameful but also disgusting. It is a clear indication that one has no respect for the other person. On the other hand, cutting or even burning one's partner is a very inhuman act that indicates just how careless and to which extent one can get. The victim in such a case should report to the relevant authority for an action to be taken against the perpetrator.

Physical abuse also includes threatening a spouse with a lethal weapon. The victim in question should not take this lightly and there is need for taking action. For the simple fact that a threat can lead to the real act, an attempt by the other partner to use a weapon on him/her should keep one alert just incase something happens. Pushing one's partner is a physical abuse that can result to far-reaching impacts (Follingstad et al, 1990). Pushing can lead to one breaking limbs or even such organs as legs and hands. In a case where the victim has broken limbs, the impacts that come with such are long lasting and may result to regrets forever. Spouses should as much as possible maintain their cool and avoid exchange of words that may lead to inflicting physical abuses on each other. If this happens, it will lead to a very happy relationship that is promising.

In addition, locking one's partner in a room or a closet amounts to physical abuse. Pulling the other partner's hair is not something to smile about. To begin with, when a spouse is locked in a room, it is denying him/her the freedom of movement. In other words, it is going against the constitution and it can amount to imprisonment (Butler, 2007). It is not only inhuman but also insensitive when a partner pulls the hair of the other. Cases are there of a spouse bending the arm of the other, which can result to breaking it. This type of physical abuse is very painful and no person in the right frame of mind would do that. Other cases of physical abuse involves scratching, getting one out of a moving car, tying a partner to restrain him/her against wish, actual use of a weapon on a spouse, biting among others.

The effects of physical abuse are far-reaching. Some of the commonly known impacts include broken limbs and bones, injuries on the head and bleeding from within. Experts advise that in case of any of the above happening, victims should seek medical attention. Chronic pain and ulcers are some of the incidences that have been linked with physical abuse. Other studies show that arthritis is yet another complication that emanates from physical abuse. Pain in the pelvic in cases of women is a complication of physical abuse and is very dangerous (Follingstad et al, 1990). Women victims stand a great risk in cases where they are pregnant and it can easily lead to a miscarriage. In some cases still, death of a fetus is likely to occur or experiencing labor way before the exact time. This is very dangerous as even the mother can result to dying.

For the simple fact that all of us would want to have a happy marriage or a relationship, respect of the highest degree is a requirement in order for this to come true. Physical abuse is a sign of how disrespectful individuals can get in a marriage union. All of us should strive towards having a strong relationship, as it will lead to very stable families and in turn a closely-knit society (Butler, 2007). When a partner abuses the other in presence of the young ones, the psychological effects on them is far-reaching. They are likely to do the same on their partners in future. They might tend to think that life in a relationship is not all about fighting which obvious is the case. The truth is that a happy marriage is possible only and if there is respect for each other and the urge to have a stable family.

In short, people are more familiar with physical abuse in relationships than any other type of violence there is. The truth is none is good as all of them are all shameful and should be dealt with as much as possible.


Stalking can also be referred to as obsessional following. Although this act is common with spouses, it is equally possible in cases where an individual closely follow up and down people that he/she has not had intimacy. It is known as constant harassment inflicted on a spouse for reasons best known by the perpetrator. Stalking is known to cause an end to a romantic relationship. However, some acts that are related to other forms of abuse are witnessed in stalking as well.

Stalking form of abuse instills fear in the victim due to extreme surveillance by the perpetrator. Studies indicate that their partners stalk most women even after intimacy has ended in a relationship. Some of the acts that are referred to as stalking include spying on one's spouse. In some cases still, individuals have resulted to hiring someone to keep a close eye on their partners (Butler, 2007). This normally comes with a price to pay. In addition, when one threatens a spouse through a call or even texting, it amounts to stalking. The inappropriate behavior of sending gifts to a spouse equally amounts to a form of abuse. Stalking can come about if at all there is destruction of a partner's property or stealing from him/her.

Economic Abuse

Economic abuses are one of the abuses common in intimate relationships among both the married spouses and cohabiting individuals. While for many years domestic violence has come in form of physical battering, economic abuse is one of the most common in the recent past. Researches confirm that domestic violence has created avenues for preventing abused victims from accessing financial and economic security (Foyster, 2005). The abusers, by creating restricting the victim's access to financial self-sufficiency, the batterer has a guarantee that the victim will get economically paralyzed if he/she chose to quit the relationship. For spouses, this result in victims presented with a painful dilemma that force them to decide between staying in an abusive marriage or encounter an economic hardship, homelessness and other situations of extreme poverty.

Economic abuse occurs in so many ways. In most common cases, batterers claim control of the victim's financial sources or resources such as earnings, banking documents and property documents. The victims get protection from gaining financial interdependence or any kind of self-sufficiency. The abuser in the marriage or the relationship ensures that the victim does not progress in education, get a job, nor get opportunity for job trainings. Recent restudies claim that both the abuser and the abused cite lack of income as reason for staying together despite the evident abuse.

Economic abuse is manifests itself in many ways in many homes. These manifestations even extend long after the spouses have parted or separated. The abusive behaviors in relationships or marriages include limited the victim access to money or the mean of obtaining money (Hunt, 2010). It also includes disturbing the victim's productivity at work the through frequent phone calls and prompt visits. In other cases, the abuses include denying or not allowing the victim to attend schools. Some of these actions are indirect and include making the victim engage in activities that would ultimately deny him/her to attend schools or run personal income generating activities.

Other economic abuses common in relationships takes the form of deliberately denying or controlling the supply of necessities such as food, access to medical services, clothing, or even hygiene products. Some abusers steal from the victims thus defrauding them of their assets and money (Foyster, 2005). The abusers exploit victims of their economic or financial resources for personal gain. Similarly, other abusers steal or destroy the victim's property or personal belongings. The abuser may also deny the victim the right to own and operate a personal bank account. For malicious reasons, the abuser tricks the victims into obtaining credits, then using the opportunity to ruin the victims' credit rating which dames his or her reputations and make the victim unable to obtain credit facilities in future. Notorious abusers would even go an extent of forcing the victims to justify any spent money and threatening them with emotional or sexual assaults.

Since, economic abuses in relationship serves to course emotional effects among the victims, these types of abuse are in the sub-category of emotional abuse. Nonetheless, there exist clear distinctions between emotional and economic abuses among spouses. Economic abuses prevent the victim from owning, controlling or maintaining any types of financial or economic resource and eventually making the victim dependent on the abuser for financial resources and support (Follingstad et al, 1990). Abusers core objective is to make the victim entirely dependent on him/her for supply of basic needs. The abuser's intention is to isolate the victim from potential; sources of help including people. While this sound likes social abuse, it becomes an economic abuse if the victim is isolated from people who would help in the situation.

Social Isolation Abuse

Social isolation is another sub category of emotional abuse that serves to instill emotional effects on the victim. The only distinction from emotional abuse is that social isolation destroys and impairs the social and support networks of the victim and thus making the victim entirely and solely dependent on the abuser for social interactions, awareness, and any other social and material resources. This isolation increases the abuser's powers to dominate and abuse the victim and protect the abuser position (Foyster, 2005).

The situation becomes worse if the victim does not have contact with other people outside the common social networks. The abuser may mitigate him self of her self from legal or social penalties for the abusive behavior and the victim may not obtain relevant help even from relatives, including help that would eventually lead to ending the abusive marriage or relationship. Social abusive behavior in relationship or marriages includes behaving with extreme jealousy towards the victims social contacts. Abusers for strange reason become suspicious of the partner's friends and other social contacts. 

Social isolations may also take the form of abusers putting down the partner's friends and family. Other abusers monitor the victim's times and the whereabouts, while others take control of partners access and usage of telephones and other equipments such the family car; not allowing the spouse to leave the home alone without the abuser's company. This form of abuse also includes creating obstacles on the victim's chances of attending schools or working. Abusers may act in ways that turns away people against the abuser's spousal partner. The victim is presented from social networks including friends and family. They are directly or indirectly restrained from obtaining medical cares and other types of assistance. The victim's friends and family members are threatened (Hunt, 2010). All forms of communications and interaction between the victim and friends or family members are highly controlled and in extreme cases, they perished. Where interaction exists, the abuser builds an image of normalcy among the victim's friends and cover up any indicators abuse in the marriage or relationship.

Social isolation has been of the classic techniques used by abusers in marriages to exert their abusive pressure on their partners. The victims are closed from the outside world and they cannot engage in outside activities that are likely to offer them social or material supports. The abuser creates a negative relationship between the victim and his/her friends (Follingstad et al, 1990). While the abuse may come to the attention to some of the victim's family members or friends, access to the situation may become a big challenge. The abuser may turn violent or even uglier if poor approach is given trying to offer support to the victim and having the abuser face legal consequences.

Recent studies have indicated that loneliness and isolation of abused victim's results in cultural change since familial and cultural context are lost when an individual becomes isolated. When the victim is economically or financially confined, socially and culturally disconnected, the victim end ups being cynical. The victim is closed up from the reality, slowly accepting the situation. With time, the victim starts defending the abuser's actions and begins to condone even violence in the relationship. 

Johnson and Ferraro (2000) found out that social isolation gives power tactics to the abuser due to financial dependency, restricted social network, and geographic immobility for the victim. In this research, three types of social solution were found among married couple between ages 20 and 50. These include when one spouse socially disconnects himself or herself to other partner, when one partner sets out to cuts social networks of the other spouse, and when one partner sets out to restrict the other partner's access to social structures such as organizations (Johnson & Ferraro, 2000).

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse among spouses is very common. For many experts, sexual abuse is an aggressive act that cannot make a perfect match of crime of passion. Researches indicate that female spouses are in most cases the victims and the number is increasing each waking day. This is the situation in the United States. Study carried out in 2009 by the National Victim Center found out that over 650, 000 married women were sexually abused. This clearly indicates that male spouses are inflicting sexual abuse on their wives without giving it a damn (Hunt, 2010).

Sexual abuses include: demanding for sex from a spouse against his/her will, forcing a penetration of any form into a spouse, demanding for sex from a client in a manner considered uncomfortable, harassing a partner sexually using a weapon that can cause harm to the body, using objects on a partner in a sexual manner against her will, forcing one's spouse to engage in sex even in the presence of children or other people, insisting on having unprotected sex even when one is aware of having deadly disease, forcing a spouse to watch pornographic literature, forcing a spouse to engage in sex with animals, use of drugs on a partner in order to have sex against will and forcing one into doing sexual activities that are considered as prostitution.

In case of those who are married, studies have revealed that their marriage partners have sexually abused 14% of all married females. The shocking figures continue to reveal that 25% of all rapes emanate from marital rape. The females who are in abusive relationships stand a risk of being raped and their spouses have at least raped 50% of battered females. It is evident that most women who are sexually abused by their husbands take time before getting out of the situation. In most cases, women are sexually abused while sleeping or through using threats to force sex on them.

It has been noted that, men who normally abuse their wives sexually exceed the violence even to the point of ending their lives. Females who are abused stand a risk of being seriously injured or killed when they make it to abandon the abusive relationship. One study deduced that, 40% 0f women studied were abused sexually when the finally decided to commence the relationship. In the same study, it was revealed that females who left their spouses stand a risk of being abused sexually (Follingstad et al, 1990). Rape in marriage has been ignored by the society for the longest time. Until 70s, people were not aware of such a thing happening in many marriages. Since, the act is seen as a crime that is punishable by law. Although any studies have been carried out on the same, little is known about this form of abuse. It is observable that most women who are sexually abused come from low income earning families. Many of the abusers believe that it is their right to have sex with their spouses and therefore are entitled to get it no matter what.

Psychological Benefits

Although cases of abuse are there in many relationships, the benefits are far out done by the problems that accompany this whole menace. Violent victimization may lead to one being stressed up and therefore maximize chances of a mental disease. In studies carried out, it is evident that abuses of all sorts in a marriage can lead to the victim experiencing health risks. An increasing number of research reports indicate that some of these abuses come with psychological benefits (Benedictus et al).

For instance, it is said that inflicting abuse on one's spouse does not come abruptly but it is a process. Psychologically, it is expected that the victim will note if something like being threatened with a lethal weapon happens today, tomorrow it will be the actual thing of using the same on him/her. Putting that into consideration, experts deduce that the victim gets psychologically prepared and can avoid more harm from being administered.  


The different types of abuse as explained above are not good for any relationship. Although problems are there in many relationships, the idea is not to inflict abuse on each other but to embark on a mission of looking for a solution. It is evident that abusive acts are very deliberate and there are intentions well calculated by one's partner in order to have control over the relationship (Hunt, 2010). People who result to being abusive want to feel in charge of the affair. They normally take it upon themselves to make decisions without consulting anyone. The idea is to make one be submissive and look childish.

It is evident that an abuser works towards lowering self-esteem of the victim. This is done in all manner of humiliation just to make one feel uncomfortable in order to comply or walk out of the relationship. Abusers are known for their behavior of isolating one from the rest of the world to make the victim more dependence on them. In some cases, abusers issue threats to keep the victim at bay thus not reporting to the relevant authority. The abuser may threaten to kill the entire family of the victim or even to end ones life (Butler, 2007).

Finally, it is advisable that if one is aware of someone who is being abused, the best thing is to forward the matter to the relevant authority. Keeping such information to oneself is not good as the victim may end up losing life. Many victims would not come on board to speak about it. Expressing one's concern about such issues creates a picture that you care a lot for that other person. Talking to the victim in private would be a good idea, as it will confirm ones concern. Given that abusers are very good at manipulating their victims, the one concerned should ensure that the victim is well handled to open up. This will help them in running away from the abusive relationship (Hunt, 2010).

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