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Are you in an abusive and potentially violent relationship?


Answering the following questions will help the person already in a relationship determining if it is an abusive one or has the potential of becoming abusive.


Does your partner…


  • Embarrass you in front of people?

  • Belittle your accomplishments?

  • Make you feel unworthy?

  • Constantly contradict himself to confuse you?

  • Do things for which you are constantly making excuses to others or yourself?

  • Isolate you from family and friends?

  • Make you feel ashamed a lot of the time?

  • Make you believe he/she is smarter than you and therefore, more able to make decisions?

  • Make you feel that it is you who is crazy?

  • Make you perform acts that are demeaning to you?

  • Use intimidation to make you do what he/she wants?

  • Prevent you from going or doing commonplace activities such as shopping, visiting friends, and family, talking to the opposite sex?

  • Control the financial aspects of your life?

  • Make you believe you can not exist without him/her?

  • Make you find ways of compromising your feelings for the sake of peace?

  • Treat you roughly---grab, pinch, push or shove you?

  • Threaten you---verbally or with a weapon?

  • Hold you to keep you from leaving after an argument?

  • Lose control when he/she is using drugs or alcohol?

  • Get extremely angry, frequently without an apparent cause?

  • Escalate his/her anger into violence---slapping, kicking, etc.?

  • Physically force you to do what you do not want to do?


Do you…


  • Believe that you can help your partner change the abusive behavior if you were only to change yourself in some way, if you only did some things differently, if you really loved him/her?

  • Believe that you deserve to be punished or abused?

  • Find that not making him/her angry has become a major part of your life?

  • Do what he/she wants you to do, out of fear, rather than what you want to do?

  • Stay with him/her only because you’re afraid he/she might hurt you if you left?


Saying yes to many of the above questions identifies an abusive relationship.


If abuse is occurring during dating, it is very likely to continue to occur after marriage. Marriage may change the relationship, usually for the worse. Once your intimate partners hits you the first time it becomes increasingly more likely that they will hit you again; with the violence progressively escalating over time.


You cannot change the other person’s behavior. You can only change yourself. It is not necessary to stay in a relationship of degradation and fear. You have the right to choose how you want to live. You have the right to be happy. You have the right to be safe.


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