All forms of violence have a psychological aspect, since the main aim of being violent or abusive is to hurt the integrity and dignity of another person.

Apart from this, there are certain forms of violence which take place using methods which cannot be placed in other categories, and which therefore can be said to achieve psychological violence in a ‘pure’ form. This includes isolation or confinement, withholding information, disinformation, and threatening behaviour.

In the private sphere, psychological violence includes threatening conduct which lacks physical violence or verbal elements, for example, actions that refer to former acts of violence, or purposeful ignorance and neglect of another person.

One common example of such violence in the public sphere includes the isolation of young women or men who do not act according to traditional gender roles.

Isolation in the public sphere is most often used by peer groups, but responsible adults – such as teachers and sports coaches – can also be perpetrators. Most typically, isolation means exclusion from certain group activities. It can also include intimidation, in a similar fashion to psychological abuse in the private sphere.