White Ribbon Day is today, and it’s something that we should be talking about.

Over 12 months on average, a woman is killed every week as a result of an intimate partner’s violence – but partner violence contributes to all sorts of abuse, and it’s not all physical.

White Ribbon Australia has info on all of the types of abuse that we should be talking about more.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse can be subtle, with a man gradually taking control over bank accounts and financial transactions. Financial abuse can also be obvious, violent and threatening. For example, a man may forbid a woman from working or spending her wages.

Emotional abuse

A woman can experience abuse and violence without being physically hurt. Emotional abuse does not leave physical scars but it can have a big impact on a woman’s mental health and wellbeing. Women experiencing emotional abuse can feel anxious, depressed and even suicidal.

Perpetrators of emotional abuse use it to take away a person’s independence, confidence and self-esteem. This helps the perpetrator maintain power and control in the relationship. Physically abusive relationships often include aspects of emotional abuse.

Verbal abuse

Verbal abuse is a key feature of emotionally abusive relationships. The perpetrator consistently makes statements that negatively label a person, for example: “You are a terrible mother”. This has a serious impact on the self-esteem and confidence of the person experiencing the verbal abuse.

Social abuse

Perpetrators of social abuse prevent a person from spending time with family and friends, and participating in social activities. By isolating a woman from her support networks, the perpetrator is attempting to assert power and control over her.

Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is any form of forced or unwanted sexual activity. The perpetrator of sexual abuse may use physical force, make threats or take advantage of a person unable to give consent.

Sexual abuse has impacts on a woman’s physical and emotional health. It can lead to long-term mental health issues, including anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Stalking happens when a person intentionally and persistently pursues someone against their will. The stalker does this to control, intimidate and create fear in the person they are stalking. The person being stalked may feel like they are in danger.

Stalking limits a person’s freedom and makes them feel they have lost control over their lives. Some people who have been stalked are forced to change their lives, including by moving house and changing jobs.

Spiritual abuse

Spiritual abuse is the denial or use of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices to control and dominate a woman. Spiritual abuse can impact on a woman’s self-esteem and confidence, make a woman feel guilty, damage her spiritual experiences and isolate her.

Hear our full break on this here: