Are YOU Abused?
We all have the right to live in safety, without violence or fear.
Are You Headed for Disaster?
When starting a new relationship, don't be so starry-eyed that you fail to recognize the obvious traits of an abusive personality. Remember that you don't have to become black and blue to be abused.
If you answer "yes" to the majority of the questions below, turn to a counselor for help before the relationship turns on you.
- Your partner has a family history of abuse - he/she was physically or psychologically abused as a child, or the mother was battered by the father.
- Your partner has a violent streak or temper that's out of proportion to the incident in question.
- Your partner's anger frightens you and you try hard not to make him/her angry.
- Your partner has a fetish for guns and other weapons, and claims to keep them around to protect himself/herself from others.
- Your partner threatens you with weapons.
- Your partner uses drugs and/or drinks excessively.
- Your partner commits acts of violence against objects rather than people. For example, he/she destroys property, throws things, or punches walls.
- Your partner abuses or tortures pets when he/she is angry or when trying to intimidate you.
- Your partner has a criminal history that involves animal or child abuse/neglect.
- Your partner relays negative messages to your children, tries to turn them against you, or gets them to spy on you.
- Your partner displays unusual jealousy and possessiveness when you're not with him/her and often accuses you of cheating.
- Your partner questions you about time spent away from him/her and demands to know where you are at every waking moment.
- Your partner becomes enraged when you don't listen to his/her advice.
- Your partner has a dual personality. One minute cruel and critical; the next minute kind and loving.
- Your partner's emotions are in overdrive. When he/she is angry, he/she is consumed by rage. When he/she is in a loving mood, he/she lavishes you with candy, compliments, flowers, and gifts.
- Your partner considers himself a macho man.
- You sense that you're being treated abusively.
- Your partner's not above pushing or shoving you around when he/she is angry.
- Your partner restrains you or refuses to let you leave the room during arguments.
- Your partner is rough during lovemaking or has physically forced you when you weren't really in the mood.
- Your partner routinely nags you for sex or sexual favors and tries to make you feel guilty if you say "no".
- Your partner is extremely critical of you.
- Your partner ridicules your opinions, beliefs, friends, family, etc.
- Your partner frequently uses violent language and calls you obscene names.
- Your partner puts you down or humiliates you in front of other people.
- Your partner had a string of unsuccessful relationships or marriages.
- Your partner has a criminal history of domestic violence or violent crimes.
- Your partner has very low self-esteem.
- Your partner believes all the myths about battering.
- Your partner holds traditional family values and feels that women are the "weaker" sex.
- Your partner believes in male supremacy and the stereotypical masculine sex roles in the family.
- Your partner has unrealistic expectations about you or the relationship. For example, he/she expects you to be the perfect partner, housekeeper, parent, lover, and friend.
- Your partner doesn't believe his/her violent behavior should have negative consequences.
- Your partner blames you for his/her abusive behavior and often says that you make him/her act that way.
- You are altering your appearance or behavior in order to avoid arguments.
- Your partner has an unusual relationship with his/her mother, which borders on love-hate.
- Most people think he/she is a real charmer.
- Your partner tries to control your life - what you do, whom you see, how you dress, and what you think.
If you answered "yes" to many of the above questions, you may be in over your head - a victim or soon-to-be victim of battering. While these tendencies are certainly not definite signs that a man or woman is a batterer, they indicate that he/she has the potential to become one.
Don't take chances with your life and health. Get help now and avoid getting caught in the vicious Cycle of Violence.
Bill of Rights for Survivors of Domestic Abuse