October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Do you know the signs of partner abuse?


It can be hard to know sometimes if you’re being abused.  Abuse takes so many forms—emotional and physical.  For example, you may think that your intimate partner is allowed to force you to have sex. That’s not true. Forced sex is rape, no matter who does it! Also, you may think that cruel or threatening words do not constitute abuse. They do.  And such emotional or psychological abuse can be an early warning signal that your partner will become physically violent in the future.  Know the signs of abuse.

Below is a list of possible signs of abuse. Some of these behaviors are illegal and can be prosecuted. All of them are wrong. You may be abused if your partner:

  • Monitors what you’re doing all the time
  • Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful all the time
  • Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family
  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school
  • Gets very angry during and after drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • Controls how you spend your money
  • Controls your use of needed medicines
  • Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
  • Humiliates you in front of others
  • Destroys your property or things that you care about
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets
  • Hurts you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
  • Uses (or threatens to use) a weapon against you
  • Forces you to have sex against your will
  • Controls your birth control or insists that you get pregnant
  • Blames you for his or her violent outbursts
  • Threatens to harm himself or herself when upset with you
  • Says things like, “If I can’t have you then no one can.”

If you think someone is abusing you, please get help.  There are useful links below.  Abuse can have serious and even life threatening physical or emotional effects. No one has the right to hurt you.

Are you in an unhealthy relationship?

Sometimes a relationship might not be abusive, but it can still be unhealthy for you. If you think you might be in an unhealthy relationship, you should be able to talk to your partner about your concerns. If you feel like you can’t talk to your partner, try talking to a trusted friend, family member, or a professional counselor. Consider calling a confidential hotline to get the support you need and to explore next steps. If you’re afraid to end the relationship, call a hotline for help now!

Signs of an unhealthy relationship include:

  • Focusing all your energy on your partner
  • Dropping friends and family or activities you enjoy
  • Feeling pressured or controlled a lot
  • Having more bad times in the relationship than good
  • Feeling sad or scared when with your partner

Signs of a healthy relationship include:

  • Having more good times in the relationship than bad
  • Having a life outside the relationship, with your own friends and activities
  • Making decisions together, with each partner compromising at times
  • Dealing with conflicts by talking honestly
  • Feeling comfortable and able to be yourself
  • Feeling able to take care of yourself
  • Feeling like your partner supports you

If you feel confused about your relationship, a professional counselor can help. Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.  For immediate help or more information go to:

National Domestic Violence Hotline http://www.thehotline.org/

Womenshealth.Gov http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/mental-health-effects-of-violence/index.cfm

Tune in for “An hour to kill with Doc Bonn” on Friday, Oct. 19 at 12pm ET when he will discuss domestic violence with Sandra L. Brown, M.A., CEO of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education.  Brown is a psychopathologist, program development specialist, lecturer, and author. Sandra Brown also works closely with Susan Murphy-Milano and Pastor Neil Schori in the development of Document the Abuse utilizing the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit©.

 Listen to the show live www.groups.drew.edu/wmnj

Dr. Scott Bonn is Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Drew University and a media expert.  He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq”and is currently writing a book about the public’s fascination with serial killers. 


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Posted on October 17, 2012, in Social Issues and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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