Are You in an Abusive Relationship?

When someone in an intimate relationship tries to dominate and manipulate their partner, they are engaging in domestic abuse. Also known as spousal abuse, domestic abuse can be frightening and lonely and can happen to anyone of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, genders, and economic levels. Physical injury may be the most obvious indication of an abusive relationship but emotional damage can also leave scars and is as severe, if not more, than physical abuse. No matter who is exerting harm and no matter what kind, domestic abuse is never acceptable.

Acknowledging abuse is the first step to finding help and ending it. Here are some common signs to identify whether or not you are in an abusive relationship.

Abusers use many tactics to exert their power including but not limited to:

Dominance

  • Forcing you to have sex with them
  • Destroying your belongings
  • Viewing you as a possession instead of a person
  • Forcing you to comply with their decisions and opinions

Humiliation

  • Insulting and calling you names
  • Ignoring or harshly criticizing your opinions and achievements
  • Shaming and putting you down

Financial Limitations

  • Withholding money and credit cards
  • Stealing your money
  • Making you account for all your spending
  • Restricting you to an allowance

Isolation

  • Preventing you from going to work
  • Keeping you from seeing family and friends
  • Requiring their permission or approval to go anywhere or do anything
  • Constantly checking up on you
  • Limiting your access to your phone and car
  • Locking you in the house

Threatening to

  • Hurt or kill you and close friends and family
  • Commit suicide
  • File false charges against you

Denial and blame

  • Blaming their abusive behavior on something other than themselves (e.g. bad childhood, bad day, etc.)
  • Denying their violent actions
  • Blame you for the way they are treating you
  • Unjustly accusing you of cheating on them

Your inner thoughts can be another indicator that you are in an abusive relationship such as feeling:

  • Afraid of bringing up certain topics or making certain decisions lest your partner gets angry
  • You can't do anything right in your partner's eyes
  • You deserve to be mistreated
  • That your partner's abusive behavior is your fault
  • You always have to check-in with your partner
  • That you're just going crazy
  • That everything will be fine if you just try harder and love your partner
  • You are constantly obsessing over ways to please your partner

Always remember that you are never to blame (the abuser's behavior is their choice) and that help is available.

If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, call 1-800-799-7233 or visit http://www.thehotline.org. Please note that your browser history will show that you have visited that site, so call the hotline if you're worried that your domestic abuser may see it. If you are dealing with legal action regarding domestic abuse, please call us at 866-416-2161 for a free case review.

- See more at: http://glewkimlaw.com/blog/2015/08/07/are-you-in-an-abusive-relationship/#sthash.18GGQWnH.dpuf