Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship to gain or maintain control over the other person. Even though the person is in a harmful situation, they are often reluctant to leave the relationship because of the abuser’s ability to justify the behavior. It is important to recognize the signs of domestic violence and seek help. An abusive partner:
- Embarrasses you or makes fun of you in front of your family and friends.
- Uses intimidation or threats to gain control over you or your children.
- Attacks your self esteem and tells you that you can’t make it on your own.
- Uses physical aggression such as grabbing, pushing, pinching, shoving or hitting you.
- Threatens or abuses your pets.
- Stalks you by calling you constantly or follows you to make sure you are where you said you would be.
- Uses their alcohol or drug addiction as an excuse for their abuse.
- Blames you for how they feel or act.
- Pressures you to do things sexually you aren’t willing to do.
- Makes you feel like you have no alternative but to remain in the relationship.
- Prevents you from seeing family and friends and doing activities you want.
If you or someone you know is in this situation, seek help to ensure their safety! Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).