Below are some questions and checklists to help you determine if you are in an abusive relationship.
Answer the questions honestly. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may be a victim of abuse.
You are a victim of emotional abuse if your partner:
- repeatedly gives you destructive criticism, verbal threats and browbeating.
- always claims to be right.
- excludes you from making decisions and claims to be the head of the household.
- abuses your trust by lying, hiding important information and papers, cheating or being inappropriately jealous.
- minimizes or denies abusive behavior.
- constantly shows disrespect, puts you down or embarrasses you in front of others.
- harasses you by following you or checking up on you.
- prevents you from seeing your relatives or friends or insists on going everywhere with you.
- monitors your phone calls.
You are a victim of physical abuse if your partner:
- intimidates you through angry or threatening gestures.
- destroys your belongings or household items.
- coerces you to have sex or perform sexual acts against your will.
- kicks, bites, stabs, pushes, burns or chokes you.
- uses weapons to threaten or harm you or others you love.
Do you lie to your family, friends and doctor about your bruises, cuts and scratches?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, or experience these forms of emotional and physical abuse in your relationship, you should seek help. Abuse is not acceptable behavior and is not something you should just learn to live with. Don’t be a victim that keeps this a silent disease. Seek help from relatives, friends, law enforcement, a psychologist or community resources. With their help, you may be able to stop the abuse or, if necessary, leave the relationship. Realize that once the abuse has started, it will nearly always get worse.
Who Are the Victims of Domestic Violence? by Toby D. Goldsmith, MD October 19, 2006
Domestic violence can happen in any relationship, regardless of ethnic group, income level, religion, education or sexual orientation. Abuse may occur between a married people, or between an unmarried people living together or in a dating relationship. It happens in heterosexual, gay and lesbian relationships. However, researchers have found that some people are more likely to become the victims of domestic violence. A likely victim is someone who…
- Has poor self-image.
- Puts up with abusive behavior.
- Is economically and emotionally dependent on the abuser.
- Is uncertain of his or her own needs.
- Has low self-esteem.
- Has unrealistic belief that he or she can change the abuser.
- Feels powerless to stop violence.
- Believes that jealousy is proof of love.
While abuse can happen to anyone, women are by far the most frequent victims and men are the most frequent abusers. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 95 percent of the assaults on partners or spouses is committed by men against women. Again, the victims often have some common characteristics. Women who are victims of domestic violence often:
- Abuse alcohol or other substances.
- Have been previously abused.
- Are pregnant.
- Are poor and have limited support.
- Have partners who abuse alcohol or other substances.
- Have left their abuser.
- Have requested a restraining order against the abuser.
- Are members of ethnic minority or immigrant groups.
- Have traditional beliefs that women should be submissive to men.
Who Are the Abusers in Domestic Violence? by Toby D. Goldsmith, MD October 19, 2006
Abusers don’t wear signs that say, “I’m an abuser.” They can be doctors, lawyers, judges, nurses, policemen, clergymen, mechanics, janitors or the unemployed. They could be white, black, coloured, Asian, or Hispanic. They may have had five previous spouses, or may never have been married. However, research shows that abusers are likely to have some common characteristics. In general, abusers:
- Are less educated than the abused partner.
- Come from a lower socioeconomic group than the abused partner.
- Need great amounts of attention.
- Are possessive, jealous and controlling of their partner.
- Fear being abandoned by the partner.
- Are emotionally dependent on the partner.
- Have low self-esteem.
- Have rigid expectations of the relationship.
- Have poor impulse control and low frustration tolerance.
- Are prone to explosive rage.
- Use children to exert power over partner.
- Blame their partners for their own abusive behavior.
- Lie to keep the victim psychologically off-balance.
- Manipulate the victim and others to get on their good side.
- If a man is abusing a woman, he often has very traditional beliefs about the roles of men and women.