The following are some abuse examples suffered during her marriage
by just one woman - Allison. This list shows quite
clearly how different forms of abuse are interrelated, one never occuring
in isolation, but as a pattern of behaviour with intent. If you take
any one of these examples by itself, you could be misled into thinking
it was just a misunderstanding, a foolish act, a bit of a juvenile
or immature response to some perceived harm, but put all the incidents
together, and it is a completely different story!
- Husband spent joint Christmas money
- Pulled all wires and boards out of computer so
that I could not use it.
- Smashed up all my discs with my college work and
- Deleted all my files from computer
- Changed passwords on my e-mail and instant messenger
so that I could not access them without his permission.
- Put holes in bedroom walls, kitchen walls and broke
spindles on banister.
- Smashed up alarm clocks and lamps.
- Tipped me out of bed numerous times so that I could
- Dictated where I could sleep and when, then he
kept me awake either by playing loud music or by annoying me.
- Continually called me names in front of the children
and undermined my authority with them.
- Raised his voice and argued with me in front of
- Pushed me around in front of the children.
- Threatened to kill me.
- Told me that I would never be free of him that
he would make it his sole life purpose to make my life hell.
- Took me by the throat and bashed my head off the
- Would not allow me to use the phone.
- Would not allow me to watch his TV.
- Would only allow me to play his choice of music.
- Critisised my housekeeping and child rearing skills.
- Denied me housekeeping money.
- Ignored family members when they came to visit.
- Insisted that I be there to make his dinner on
my mornings off college.
- If I went out to visit family members then I was
not allowed to be long.
- Left me to pay rent, gas, electricity, food, clothing,
Xmas gifts, house insurance etc. with the money I received for college
and child benefit.
- If I refused to have sex then I was subjected to
verbal and physical abuse and had to put up with his moods for days.
- Would be ignored for up to a week at a time.
- If I asked for money then I was shouted at and
told what a failure I was.
- Often had to borrow money from my mum rather than
ask him for.
- Had to have his supper ready and on the table for
when he finished work.
- Would have to put up with his loud music when I
was trying to study.
- Had to drop every thing and make him coffee whenever
he ordered me to.
- Was allowed to count his savings but not allowed
to spend them.
- Had to constantly tidy up after him.
- Was ordered to send the kids upstairs out of his
way as they annoyed him.
- Had to attend all school and doctors appointments
for the kids alone as he was not interested.
- Was continually reminded that he provided me with
all appliances and beds and that I was lucky to have him.
- Told me that he was far superior to me and should
be treated as such.
- Told me to do the gardening and then criticized
- Was continually made to feel stupid.
- Had any past relationships thrown in my face.
- If I refused to have sex then he either annoyed
me until I gave in or raped me.
This being raped if saying no
is a good abuse example for sexual abuse. Read more about Marital
- Took my mobile phone away from me.
- Would switch the heating on after I had switched
it off making me think I was going insane.
- Was not allowed to go to bed until his cat came
- If I was unwell I still had to carry on as normal,
doing the housework, childcare and cooking.
- Was only allowed one day off from cooking in 3
- When he was living in a different town attending
university he would phone me up to tell me that he was either in
a nightclub or at the casino having the time of his life.
- He tried to strangle me after my brother's wedding
in Feb but told me that it was my fault, that I deserved it and
that he would finish it off.
- Destroyed all of my possessions from my life before
- Carved around me as I sat on the sofa with an electric
- Smashed up the TV with a hammer.
- Threatened to smash my head in with a hammer and
proceeded to bash holes in the wall around me.
- Smashed plates of food off the wall because I did
not cook what he wanted.
- Drove me into the woods driving like a maniac and
threatened to kill us both leaving the kids with no one.
- Beat me up and bashed my head off the radiator
whilst pregnant because I would not sleep at his command.
- Smashed up a full fish tank because I wanted to
finish making a pair of curtains before going to bed.
- Told me that he had slept around numerous times
during our relationship and that I had no choice but to accept it.
- Smashed up the house and then made me clean up
the house before raping me.
- Put a brick through my mother’s window because
I annoyed him.
- Pushed me around and humiliated me in front of
his friend then exposed my nakedness thinking it was funny.
- He had cybersex online and told me that it was
better than sleeping with me.
- Would spend hours with female friends but restricted
my choice of friends and the time I spent with them.
- Cut up my clothes.
- Broke jewellery that I received as gifts from friends.
- Constantly told me that I was fat and ugly and
that no other man would ever want me therefore I was lucky to have
- Would promise me treats such as clothes, driving
provisional or a night off from cooking only to be told that I had
done something wrong and did not deserve anything.
- Would buy himself something new practically every
week but I was not allowed anything because he was the provider
- If I wanted to go out to the shops then he refused
to look after the children and I had to find a babysitter.
- I lived life constantly on the edge and would do
anything to keep him happy.
- For 4 years he took twice weekly visits to visit
his family but I was never allowed to go.
- Was not allowed to lock the bathroom door when
I had to go to the toilet or have a bath.
- The only birthday present I ever received was grow
bag for the garden so that I could get on with it.
- Three times I had to go into hospital for operations
but had to return the same day to make his meals and look after
the children because that was not his job.
- Had to make my own way home from hospital after
giving birth to my daughter because he was too tired to come and
- Was not allowed to let the children stay overnight
with family members as they were my children and it was my job to
look after them.
- Told me that I was obviously a terrible person
due to the fact that my first marriage had failed and that I deserved
all that I got.
- Forced me to have an aids test after we got back
together because he said that I was a slut.
- Whenever we split up he harassed and threatened
me until I agreed to take him back.
- Took great pleasure in telling me how he showered
gifts on girlfriends that he had during our splits.
- Smashed up mirrored wardrobes in a fit of rage
causing me to slash my arm whilst trying to clean up.
- Threatened to slash my throat with a knife.
- Went crazy with a hammer smashing up our home.
- Split open my nose by bashing my head into the
kitchen wall units.
- Cut my chin with a knife.
- Pushed, shoved and beat me causing me to have a
- Locked me in a room with a pigeon because I had
a fear of birds. He then killed the bird with his bare hands and
cooked it for his cat.
- Would not allow me to visit the doctor when I felt
I needed help.
- Burned photos of the children.
- Took money from my purse without telling me.
- Searched my bag.
- Refused to let me go to his family weddings with
Did you spot all the different abuse examples
for physical abuse, or the examples of sexual abuse? What about threats
and intimidations? Many of these abuse examples can actually be understood
as more than one type of abuse, eg not permitting Allison to visit
the doctor when she was ill, was emotional and physical abuse, and
probably also isolation. What we can learn from this long list of
abuse examples is that it is often not so clear cut, and that abusers
employ a whole host of different tactics to maintain control and dominance.
Read Allison's Personal
Return from Abuse Examples to Types