Ask Yourself: Am I Being Abused?


Learn the signs of abuse


How can a person know if he or she is in an abusive relationship? What are the signs and symptoms of an abusive relationship? This section contains a series of questions to ask yourself. The more questions that are answered with a “yes,” the more likely you are living in an abusive relationship. Seek help if you respond “yes” to a majority of the following questions.



Your personal inner feelings



  • Are you fearful of your partner most of the time?
  • Do you avoid discussing certain topics, or fret about how to address certain topics, so that you do not arouse your partner’s negative reaction or anger?
  • Do you ever feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • Do you ever feel so badly about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt?
  • Have you lost the love and respect you once held for your partner?
  • Do you sometimes wonder if you are crazy, or that you are overreacting to your partner’s behaviors?
  • Do you fantasize about ways to kill your partner to get them out of your life?
  • Are you afraid your partner may try to kill you?
  • Are you afraid your partner will try to take your children away from you?
  • Do you feel that there is nowhere to turn for help?
  • Are you feeling emotionally numb?
  • Were you abused as a child?
  • Did you grow up with domestic violence in your household?
  • Does domestic violence seem normal?


Your partner’s inner feelings:


  • Does your partner have low self-esteem?
  • Does your partner appear to feel powerless, ineffective, or inadequate in the world, although they are outwardly successful?
  • Does your partner externalize the causes of their own behavior? Do they blame their violent outbursts on stress, alcohol, or a “bad day”?
  • Is your partner unpredictable?
  • Does your partner’s mood swing radically from pleasing to menacing?


Your partner’s temperament


  • Does your partner display a bad temper?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you or kill you?
  • Has your partner ever actually physically hurt you?
  • Has your partner threatened to take your children away from you, especially if you try to leave the relationship?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide, especially as a way of keeping you from leaving?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to have sex against your will?
  • Has your partner threatened you at work, either in person or on the phone?
  • Is your partner cruel to animals?
  • Does your partner destroy your belongings or household objects?


Your partner’s level of controlling behavior


  • Does your partner try to keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • Are you embarrassed to invite friends or family over to your house because of your partner’s behavior?
  • Has your partner limited your access to money, the telephone, or the car?
  • Does your partner try to stop you from going where you want to go outside of the house, or from doing what you want to do?
  • Is your partner jealous and possessive, asking where you are going and where you have been as if checking up on you?
  • Does your partner accuse you of having an affair?


Your partner’s attitude towards you


  • Does your partner verbally abuse you?
  • Does your partner humiliate or criticize you in front of others?
  • Does your partner often ignore you or put down your opinions or contributions?
  • Does your partner always insist that they are right, even when they are wrong?
  • Does your partner blame you for their own violent behavior?
  • Is your partner often outwardly angry with you?
  • Does your partner objectify and disrespect those of your gender?
  • Does your partner see you as property, or as a sex object, rather than a person?