Am I being abused?

You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
  • Does not want you to work.
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money.
  • Punishes you by withholding affection.
  • Expects you to ask permission.
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets.
  • Humiliates you in any way.

You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:

  • Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you.
  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
  • Scared you by driving recklessly.
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
  • Forced you to leave your home.
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
  • Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
  • Hurt your children.
  • Used physical force in sexual situations.

You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
  • Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
  • Wants you to dress in a sexual way.
  • Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
  • Has ever forced or manipulated you into to having sex or performing sexual acts.
  • Held you down during sex.
  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you.
  • Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.
  • Involved other people in sexual activities with you.
  • Ignored your feelings regarding sex.
It is not easy to immediately point out whether not the person you’re with is an abuser, especially in the early stages. In fact, many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight or you may think it’s a strong but tolerable characteristic of your partner. That is until every action you take is dictated by the person you’re with. For example: where you go, what you wear, who you can or cannot see, etc. These are all but a few of the signs of an abusive relationship and some of the other ones include:

  • Show early signs of jealousy in an intense way.
  • Be overly charming to friends and family to win them over.
  • Want you to commit quickly to a relationship such as living together, getting married, etc.
  • Make excuses for his/her anger and jealousy when it’s overbearing.
  • Be highly critical.
  • Use derogatory attitudes and inappropriate words to define previous partners.
  • Become increasingly possessive or jealous, not let his/her partner go out, keep track of time gone or go everywhere with the partner.
  • He/she breaks, throws or hits things when angry.
  • He/she has a history of vandalism when young.
  • He/she has been abusive to family.
  • He/she has been abusive with previous partners.
  • His/her friends and family think of them as a “hot head”
  • Demands sex from you.
  • Becomes physically forceful during sex.
  • Experienced or witnessed violence and abuse in the home as a child. (Children who experience abuse have a possibility of becoming either victims of domestic abuse or abusers.)
  • Has been cruel to animals.
  • Harshly disciplines or is cruel to children.
  • Disregards your feelings/concerns. Makes you believe they don’t matter.
  • Blames others for problems/feelings.
  • Dual personality.

Questions to ask yourself.

Take just a moment to ask yourself some of these following important questions.

  • Does your partner insult you in public or in front of your children?
  • Does your partner treat you like you are stupid or call you names?
  • Does your partner try to control what you do?
  • Does your partner act really jealous of your friends or family?
  • Does your partner blame you for his/her violence?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you or him/herself if the relationship ends?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, it is important for you to get help. You may be in an abusive relationship. You should either call your local police department, family, friend or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 before the cycle of violence gets worse.