Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels.The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected and safe.
Recognizing abuse is the first step to getting help: Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.
Signs of an abusive relationship: There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.
To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.
SIGNS THAT YOU’RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior Do you:
feel afraid of your partner much of the time? Does your partner:
humiliate or yell at you?
avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner? criticize you and put you down?
feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner? treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated? ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
wonder if you’re the one who is crazy? blame you for their own abusive behavior?
feel emotionally numb or helpless? see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior Does your partner:
have a bad and unpredictable temper? Does your partner:
act excessively jealous and possessive?
hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you? control where you go or what you do?
threaten to take your children away or harm them? keep you from seeing your friends or family?
threaten to commit suicide if you leave? limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
force you to have sex? limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
destroy your belongings? constantly check up on you?