Signs of Abuse

Family violence takes many forms. Family’s Domestic Violence Services can help you determine your best options. Our services are comprehensive and include emergency housing in our 17-bed shelter, as well as referrals to shelters out of the area for safety reasons.

If you are abused:

We are here to listen to you, support you, and advocate on your behalf, 24 hours a day. If you are abused, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself. You are not alone and you are not to blame.  Ask yourself the following questions.

Does your partner . . .

  • Criticize you and your abilities as a spouse, partner, parent, or employee constantly?
  • Behave in an overprotective manner or become extremely jealous?
  • Call you names or fight with you in front of friends or family?
  • Threaten to hurt you, your children, pets, family members, friends?
  • Prevent you from seeing family or friends or going places?
  • Get angry or lose his/her temper suddenly?
  • Destroy personal property?
  • Deny you access to family assets like bank accounts, credit cards, and cars?
  • Control all your finances or withhold money from you?
  • Intimidate or manipulate you or your children to gain control?
  • Hit, punch, slap, kick, shove, or bite you?
  • Force you to have sex?
  • Harass you at work?

Your own feelings and behavior can also tell you that you are becoming or have already become a victim of abuse . . .

  • You feel like you have to “walk on eggshells” to keep him from getting angry.
  • You feel you can’t live without him.
  • You stop seeing friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because he doesn’t like them.
  • You are afraid to tell him your worries and feelings about the relationship or to express your opinions.
  • You are often compliant because you are afraid to hurt his feelings.
  • You feel that you are the only one who can help or “reform” him.
  • You apologize for your partner’s behavior when you are treated badly.
  • You stay because you feel he will kill himself if you leave.
  • You believe that his jealousy is a sign of love.
  • You believe the critical things he says about you.
  • You believe that there is something wrong with you if you don’t enjoy the sexual things he makes you do.
  • You believe in the traditional ideas of what a man and a woman should be and do–that the man makes the decisions and the woman pleases him.
  • You have been abused as a child or seen your mother abused.

Abuse can take many forms:

  • “Physical abuse: hitting, kicking, shoving, choking, punching, stabbing, burning, biting, depriving of sleep, nutrition, or medical care
  • Emotional abuse: blaming, humiliating, criticizing, isolating from family and friends, shattering self-confidence
  • Psychological abuse: terrorizing, threatening to hurt self, pets, or others, playing with a weapon
  • Sexual abuse: criticizing you sexually, making vulgar comments about you, forcing unwanted sex, accusing you of having affairs
  • Financial abuse: refusing money for rent, food, bills, being forced to support your partner because he refuses to work.

Be wary of men who:

  • Do not listen to you, or who ignore you or talk over you.
  • Sit or stand too close to you, making you uncomfortable.
  • Do only what they want or push you to get what they want.
  • Express anger and violence towards women either verbally through words or physically.
  • Are overly possessive or jealous.
  • Drink or use drugs heavily.
  • Have a reputation for “scoring.”

“If you are a man having problems controlling any of the abusive behaviors described here, learn more about  FAMILY’s services for men who are abusive.