Am I being abused?

The following is a list of common things an abuser can do to their victim. An easy way to assess the danger in your relationship is to go through the following list, answering each question yes or no.
  • Has your abuser done any of the following:
    • Punched you
    • Slapped you
    • Kicked you
    • Bitten you
    • Pulled your hair
  • If you are married, did any of these things happen before you were married?
  • Does your abuser use alcohol or drugs excessively?
  • Does your abuser have intense mood swings?
  • Does your abuser stalk you or follow you?
  • Is your abuser jealous? (i.e., does the abuser say “If I can’t have you, no one can.”?)
  • Does your abuser try to isolate you from others?
  • Does your abuser threaten suicide?
  • Threaten you with a weapon?
  • Threatened to kill you or someone you love?
  • Tried or hurt you when you were pregnant?
  • Sexually assaulted you?
  • Kidnapped you or held you hostage?
  • Have you previously been involved in violent relationships?
  • Does he intimidate or threaten you in order to control you?
  • Does your abuser have a difficult time when you are not with him/her?
  • Does he try to excuse the beatings?

Generally, the more questions you answer with a “yes” the more dangerous your relationship is. Please do not use this as a replacement for seeking help. Any abusive relationship, regardless of its severity, should be taken seriously.

Common Characteristics of Abusers

People who abuse others often display these characteristics:
  • They are often very jealous
  • They may blame others for their faults and for their problems
  • They may demonstrate unpredictable behavior
  • They verbally belittle their partner
  • They always asks for another chance
  • They may say they will change
  • They play on their partner’s guilt and love
  • They may be closed-minded – either it’s their way or no way
  • They may seem charming to outsiders
  • They may abuse children in the family (physically, verbally, and/or sexually)
  • They regard their violent behavior as acceptable
  • They are often angry with members of the opposite sex
  • They may believe in rigid gender roles
  • They isolate their partner from family and friends
  • They control where their partner goes and who their partner sees

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