Spot male intimate partner violence

Male intimate partner violence is sometimes difficult to detect. Far from always being visible, abuse comes in many forms. There are a number of clues that can help you to tell them apart.

Spot male intimate partner violence


  • are inevitable in a couple’s relationship;
  • allow for differences of opinion to be expressed; and
  • are usually resolved through discussion and compromise between the partners.


  • is used to control and dominate the partner;
  • manifests itself in unacceptable behaviour with serious physical, psychological and social consequences; and
  • only ends if the woman agrees to submit to her partner’s will.

Detecting forms of violence violence

Verbal violence is manifested by sarcasm, insults, shouting, denigrating and humiliating remarks, blackmail, threats or brutal orders on the part of the male partner.


Verbal intimidation sets the stage for physical violence, creates insecurity or fear and prevents the female partner from escaping the situation.

Emotional abuse is the devaluing of the other person. It takes the form of contemptuous attitudes and words, humiliation, denigration, blackmail or neglect. It can also take the form of isolation imposed by the man. In some cases, the abuser may use his spiritual beliefs to justify his dominance and power.


Psychological abuse undermines self-esteem and self-confidence. It allows doubt to creep into the victim’s mind, causing her to doubt her partner’s responsibility for the situation.

Economic violence is characterised by the man’s domination of his wife’s financial and material resources. The couple’s and the woman’s finances are controlled and monitored, so she has no power to decide anything in this regard, regardless of whether she works outside the home.


These actions lead to financial dependence.

Social violence is characterised by the control of the woman’s interpersonal relationships outside the couple (with her parents, children, adults, siblings, friends, co-workers, others around her).


The more socially isolated the woman is, the more vulnerable she becomes to other forms of violence.

Sexual violence affects the woman’s sexual integrity. It goes beyond sexuality itself, in that it aims to dominate the other in her most intimate self. It is sexual assault, harassment, intimidation, manipulation, brutality, with a view to a non-consensual sexual relationship.


Some women consent to sex in the hope of keeping the peace and avoiding violence.

Physical violence asserts the abuser’s dominance. It manifests itself in blows and injuries of all kinds, ranging from shoving, burning, biting and breaking to femicide. Physical abuse is often disguised as an accident.


Serious injury, death.

Serious consequences for children

The exposure of children to intimate partner violence is considered a form of psychological abuse under the Youth Protection Act. Whether they are present during episodes of violence or hear them, these children experience a climate of tension and fear and can be affected physically, psychologically, emotionally, cognitively and socially.