If you are asking yourself this question, you’re taking an important step towards educating yourself and finding help.
Below are a series of questions that are indicators of an abusive relationship.
Answer “yes” or “no” to the following:
- Does your partner continually criticize what you wear, what you say, how you act and how you look?
- Does your partner humiliate or make fun of you in public places and social situations?
- Does your partner often call you insulting and degrading names?
- Do you feel like you need to ask permission to go out and see your friends and family?
- Do you turn down invitations to be with your friends and family because your partner will be angry at you for going with them?
- Do you feel you need to apologize to people or make up excuses for your partner’s behavior?
- Do you feel like no matter what you do, everything is always your fault?
- If you’re late getting home, does your partner harass you about where you were and who you were with?
- Has your partner threatened to hurt you or the children if you leave?
- Does your partner force you to have sex whether you want to or not?
- Are you afraid to say no to sex?
- Have you been repeatedly accused of flirting or having sex with others?
- Does your partner restrict you from getting a job or going to school?
- Does your partner intimidate you by throwing objects or destroying objects that are precious to you?
- Has your partner hit you or threatened to hit you?
- Do you ever explain away bruises, cuts, or other injuries as results of how “clumsy” you are?
- Do you feel nervous or afraid for your safety when your partner becomes angry?
- Are you afraid to disagree with your partner?
- Are you frightened by your partner’s violence towards other people or animals?
- Do you change your behavior or “walk on egg shells,” depending on your partner’s mood?
- Do you ever think “If only I was prettier,” or “If only I cleaned the house better,” or “If only I had kept the children quieter,” etc., “then my partner wouldn’t have been angry?”
- Has your partner ever pushed, shoved, kicked or slapped you?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. You are not alone! To speak with a trained crisis counselor, dial (608)325-7711. Please call when it is safe for you to do so.
If you are in a place other than Green County, WI , you can call 1-800-799-SAFE to find resources near you.
If you are in immediate danger, dial 911.
Red Flags Demonstrated by an Abusive Partner
- public humiliation – an abusive partner may degrade or humiliate you in front of family, friends or co-workers.
- excessive jealousy – an abusive partner may accuse you of having affairs, flirting with others or spending too much time with friends and family.
- uncontrollable temper – an abusive partner may use outbursts of anger to manipulate you to do what they want. These outbursts may look like uncontrollable anger, but they are actually using their temper to gain power and control.
- intimidation – an abuser may intimidate you through dirty looks, locking doors or windows, throwing objects, making threats, or giving the silent treatment.
- shifting blame – an abuser may make you feel like the abuse is your fault and that they wouldn’t abuse if you would x, y, z or may minimize what you are experiencing.
- isolation – an abuser may prevent you from having connection with friends or family or from going to work, school, or to other activities.
- sexual coercion – an abuser may force you to have unwanted sexual contact or make you feel guilty if you don’t perform a certain way. An abuser may threaten to post private pictures/video of you online if you don’t comply.
- stalking – an abuser may monitor your location, phone/text communication, computer activity, and email activity. An abuser may demand to know where you are, who you are with, and who you are communicating with. An abuser may constantly contact you at inappropriate times, leaving excessive voice mails or texts messages.
How Lethal Is My Abusive Partner?
Any person who chooses to abuse their intimate partner is dangerous to the victim and other family members. An abuser who has threatened to kill you, your family members, co-workers or friends, pets, or themselves must be considered extremely dangerous. If the abuser has developed a fantasy about who, how, when and/or where to kill, the more lethal they are. According to the 2012 FBI Crime in the United States Report, over one third of all female murder victims were killed by their boyfriend or husband. The risk of homicide increases for the victim after they leave the relationship. It is imperative that the victim assesses the lethality of their abusive partner and takes necessary safety precautions. To learn more about Safety Planning, click here.
Cycle of Violence that abusive relationships tend to follow. As the relationship increases in tension or violence the “wheel” will spin faster increasing the incidents of explosive response. If allowed to continue, the honeymoon phase can become very short or even non existent. The relationship becomes one of constant tension building with explosive bouts the cycle right back into tension.