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Understanding Domestic Violence

Answering the following questions will help the person already in a relationship in determining if it is an abusive one or becoming abusive.

Does your partner…

  • Embarrass you in front of people?
  • Belittle your accomplishments?
  • Make you feel unworthy?
  • Constantly contradict himself to confuse you?
  • Do things for which you are constantly making excuses to others or yourself?
  • Isolate you from many of the people you care most about?
  • Make you feel ashamed a lot of the time?
  • Make you believe he/she is smarter than you and therefore, more able to make decisions?
  • Make you feel that it is you who is crazy?
  • Make you perform acts that are demeaning to you?
  • Use intimidation to make you do what he/she wants?
  • Prevent you from going or doing common-place activities such as shopping, visiting friends and family, talking to the opposite sex?
  • Control the financial aspects of your life?
  • Use money as a way of controlling you?
  • Make you believe you can not exist without him/her?
  • Make you feel that there is no way out and that “you made your bed and you must lie in it”?
  • Make you find ways of compromising your feelings for the sake of peace?
  • Treat you roughly: grad, pinch, push or shove you?
  • Threaten you: verbally or with a weapon?
  • Hold you to keep you from leaving after an argument?
  • Lose control when he/she is drunk or using drugs?
  • Get extremely angry, frequently without an apparent cause?
  • Escalate his/her anger into violence: slapping, kicking, etc.?
  • Not believe that he/she hurt you nor feel sorry for what he/she has done?
  • Physically force you to do what you do not want to do?

Do you…

  1. Believe that you can help your partner change the abusive behavior if you were only to change yourself in some way, if you only did something differently, if you really loved him/her?
  2. Find that not making him/her angry has become a major part of your life?
  3. Do what he/she wants you to do rather than what you want to do out of fear?
  4. Stay with him/her only because you’re afraid he/she might hurt you if you tell?

If you have said yes to many of the above questions, you have identified an abusive relationship and need to seek help and advise.

Help and information is available through: