The following checklist may help you decide if you are being abused. Does your partner. . .
Use emotional and psychological control?
Use economic control?
- Call you names, yell, put you down, make racial or homophobic slurs or constantly criticize or undermine you and your abilities?
- Behave in an overprotective way or become extremely jealous?
- Make it difficult for you to see family or friends, or "badmouth" your family and friends?
- Prevent you from going where you want, when you want and with whom you want?
- Humiliate or embarrass you in front of other people?
- Deny you access to family assets like bank accounts, credit cards or car?
- Control all the finances, force you to account for what you spend, or take your money?
- Prevent you from getting or keeping a job or from going to school?
- Limit your access to health, prescription or dental insurance?
Commit acts of physical violence?
- Threaten to report you to the authorities (the police or child protective services) for something you didn't do?
- Threaten to harm or kidnap the children?
- Make you afraid by using looks, actions or gestures?
- Display weapons as a way of making you afraid or directly threaten you with weapons?
- Use anger or "loss of temper" as a threat to get you to do what he or she wants?
- Threaten to expose your sexual orientation to friends, family, or employer if you are gay or lesbian?
- Threaten to commit suicide?
Hurt or control you sexually?
- Carry out threats to hurt you, your children, pets, family members, friends?
- Destroy personal property or throw things around?
- Grab, push, hit, punch, slap, kick, choke or bite you?
- Prevent you from taking medications or getting medical care?
- Deny you access to food, fluids or sleep?
- Force you to have sex when you don't want to or to engage in sexual acts that you don't want to do?
- Make you feel bad about your sexual history?
- Withhold sex and affection as punishment?
- Is jealously angry and assumes you will have sex with anyone?
These are some of the most common tactics used by abusive partners, but certainly not the only ones. If your partner does things that restrict your personal freedom or that make you afraid, you may be a victim of domestic violence. You are not alone.