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How do I know if I am in a harmful or hurtful relationship?

Violence within an intimate partner relationship is designed to be an act of control and may take on many forms including physical, psychological, economic and/or sexual abuse. Below you will find some SIGNS/CHARACTERISTICS of an abusive relationship. The listed behaviors are often exhibited by the abuser.

- Utilizes physical, sexual or psychological force to control behaviors

- Utilizes force to make the individual become compliant with requests

- Blames you for all the wrong mishaps in their life

- Frequently questions, mocks or criticizes your decision making

- Calls excessively, makes frequent visits to your job, or monitors your every move

- Makes accusations about your whereabouts or wrongfully accuses you of being involved with someone else

- Minimizes your accomplishments or goals

- Inquires constantly about where you are going and who you are with

- Strives to alienate you from friends and family

- Makes accusations of you flirting and/or having sexual relationships with others

- Exhibits extreme difficulty in controlling aggressive and/or emotional outbursts

- Monitors your appearance (i.e. makes negative comments about your attire, makeup, etc.)

- Will become overly accommodating and romantic after an intense argument or physical assault; however the aggressive behavior is likely to follow soon at any given moment

- Blames you for how he/she feels

- Withholds money and other forms of support to meet your basic living expenses

- Makes threats to hurt you or your family

- Becomes easily agitated and explosive over trivial situations

- Alienates you from making any important decisions, whether these decisions are related to financial matters, childrearing, etc.

- Forces you to have sex with the abuser and/or other people

- Calls you derogatory names (i.e. slut, whore, etc.) in an attempt to reduce your self-esteem/self-worth

- Limits your access to financial resources and requires you to seek permission to make any financial decisions

- Assesses your clothing to determine if there is any evidence that you have been involved with someone else