What is an abusive relationship? How do you know if your partner is abusive? Dumb question?
Most people probably are not aware of what constitutes an abusive relationship. In reading Dear Abby the other day I learned there were fifteen warning signs. I searched the internet and found an article on Your Tango.com by Wendy Kay, CPC on the “15 Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship”. For anyone who feels they have experienced domestic abuse, it is definitely worth reading and I have reprinted it here. Even though the word ‘He’ is used, (because most victims of abuse are women), the word ‘partner’ can be substituted as well.
1. He pushes for quick involvement. He comes on strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this before by anyone.” You get pressured for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.
2. There is jealousy. Your partner is excessively possesive, calls constantly, or visits unexpectedly.
3. He is controlling. He interrogates you intensely about who you talked to and where you were; checks mileage on the car; keeps all the money or asks for receipts; insists you ask for permission to go anywhere or do anything.
4. He has very unrealistic expectations. He expects you to be the perfect person and meet their every need.
5. There is isolation. He tries to cut you off from family and friends; deprives you of a phone or car, or tries to prevent you from holding a job.
6. He blames others for his own mistakes. The boss, family, you – it’s always someone else’s fault if anything goes wrong.
7. He makes everyone else responsibile for their feelings. The abuser says, “You make me angry” instead of “I’m angry.” “I wouldn’t get so pissed off if you wouldn’t…
8. There is hypersensitivity. He Is easily insulted and will often rant and rave about injustices that are just part of life.
9. He is cruel to animals and children. He kills or punishes animals brutally. He also may expect children to do things beyond their ability, or tease them until they cry.
10. His “playful” use of force during sex. He enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will; he says they find the idea of rape exciting. Intimidates, manipulates, or forces you to engage in unwanted sex acts.
11. There is verbal abuse. He constantly criticizes you or says cruel things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. He will use vulnerable points about your past/life against you.
12. There are rigid gender roles. He expects you to serve, obey, and remain at home.
13. He has sudden mood swings. He switches from loving to angry in a matter of minutes.
14. He has a past of battering. Headmits to hitting women in the past, but states that they or the situation brought it on.
15. There are threats of violence. He makes statements such as, “I’ll break your neck,” but then dismisses it with “I really didn’t mean it.”
If you need help, or protection, to get out or stay out of an abusive relationship, get in touch with your local (The) Women’s Center, or search their main site at The Woman’s Center.
NOTE: Though females are the primary victims in Domestic Violence, it is not always the case; males can also be victims (over 25%). Some resources to check into for both male & female victims are: safehorizon.org, ncdva.org, & nomore.org.
Caring for victims,