Domestic violence often occurs behind closed doors and is thought of as a private, family or personal matter, even though abusers’ tactics affect the victim, victim’s children and household, friends, other family members, employers, and the whole community.
Abusive and degrading behavior are not acceptable. There are a number of warning signs which can show that a partner is abusive.
- Put downs, name calling and excessive criticizing
- Jealousy or possessiveness
- Controlling or limiting contact with friends and family members.
- Controlling of finances, making the abused partner ask for money, or refusing access to money
- Undermines parenting
- Doesn’t let the abused partner use the family car or help with transportation
- Tries to get abused partner pregnant when she doesn’t want to by messing with birth control, refusing to use condoms, or by hurting or threatening abused partner
- Follows the abused partner, listens in on phone calls, reads email or texts
- Threatens with harm or acts in ways that scare or make the abused partner uncomfortable
- Threatens to report the abused partner to the police, family services, INS, or other legal authorities.
- Displays or threatens with weapons
- Expects the abused partner to ask permission to do anything
- Makes all the decisions for the household and does not respect the abused partner’s opinions
- Does not want the abused partner to work or attend school
- Punishes by withholding affection
- Shoves, slaps, chokes, or hits
- Forces sex when the abused partner doesn’t want to or makes the abused partner perform sexual acts he/she doesn’t want to do
- Throws things, destroys property, or threatens to harm children or pets
- Denies abusing, acts like what he or she did is not a big deal, or blames the abused partner for the abuse
- Forces the abused partner to try to drop charges after a violent incident
- Uses suicide threats as a method of control