Warning Signs of Abuse

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Domestic violence comes in many forms and it isn’t always just physical.  It often involves physical abuse but domestic violence typically starts with more subtle attempts to manipulate a partner. At its roots, domestic violence is an attempt by one partner in an intimate relationship to gain power and control over another.  Abusers use emotional, financial, physical, and sexual forms of violence to assert and maintain control over their partner.The following list can help you recognize if you or someone you care about is in a dangerous or unhealthy relationship.

Verbal Abuse-name calling, blaming, yelling, humiliating remarks.

Harassment/Stalking-making uninvited visits, texts or calls, following you, checking up on you, embarrassing you in public.

Economic Control – Not letting you work, refusing to give you money or taking it from you, taking your car keys.

Threats-Making and/or carrying out threats to hurt you.

Isolation – Making it difficult for you to see friends and family, monitoring your phone calls, telling you where you can and cannot go.

Intimidation-Making angry or threatening gestures, using physical size, driving recklessly.

Physical Violence – Slapping, punching, grabbing, kicking, biting, strangling, burning, pushing, etc.  Using weapons, keeping weapons around to frighten you. Being violent to your children, pets or others.

Sexual Violence– Degrading treatment, using force, threats or coercion to obtain sex.

Destruction – Destroying your possessions, punching walls, throwing things.

Self-Destructive Behavior– Abusing alcohol or drugs, threatening suicide or other forms of self-harm.

Less direct tactics include:

Pressure Tactics – Rushing you to make decisions through “guilt trips,” threatening to withhold money or sex, manipulating the children.

Abusing Authority – Always claiming to be right, making decisions for you.

Disrespect -Interrupting, changing the subject, twisting your words, putting you down in front of others.

Abusing Trust– Lying, withholding information, cheating on you, being overly jealous.

Breaking Promises – Not following through on agreements, refusing to help with children or housework.

Emotional Withholding– Not expressing feelings, not giving support, attention or compliments. Silent Treatment.

Minimizing, Denying & Blaming -Making light of behavior, saying the abuse didn’t happen, shifting responsibility for the abuse.