How do you recognize abuse in a relationship?
Start by acknowledging when you feel controlled, fearful or trapped. Then look at what’s happening when you experience those feelings.
- feel afraid of making your partner angry?
- stop seeing your friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because your partner doesn’t like them?
- believe that jealousy is a sign of love?
- avoid telling your partner your worries and feelings about the relationship?
- have to ask permission to have money?
- feel forced to give your partner your paycheque?
- feel that you are the only one who can rescue or reform your partner?
- find yourself apologizing for your partner’s behaviour when you are treated badly?
- stop expressing your opinions?
- want to leave, but stay because you feel your partner will commit suicide if you leave?
- think that it’s all your fault the relationship isn’t working?
- believe the negative things your partner says about you and feel bad about yourself?
- believe that there is something wrong with you if you don’t enjoy the sexual things your partner makes you do?
“I did not deserve the things that happened to me.”
These are the experiences of women in abusive relationships.
Abuse takes many forms – emotional/psychological, physical, sexual, and financial.
Abusive partners may do a number of different things to try to have power and control. Abuse is a misuse of power, a violation of trust. It may happen once, or it may occur in a repeated and escalating pattern over a period of months or years.
Extreme possessiveness and jealousy, yelling, screaming, name calling, putdowns, manipulation and control, isolation from friends and family, threats of suicide, threats against your life, threats to harm loved ones and pets, destruction of property.
Slapping, kicking, hitting, hair-pulling, spitting, biting, pushing, shoving, choking, confinement, beating with weapons, murder.
Forced or coerced sex, unwanted touching, sexual accusations, unwanted sexual acts.
Withholding money to buy food and necessities, manipulating a person for financial gain, denying access to financial resources, preventing someone from working or controlling their job choice