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?