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Is This Abuse?

Abusive relationships can be best defined by the power imbalance. An abusive relationship will consist of one person who has or seeks all the power in the relationship(the abuser) and the person who has very little power in the relationship (the person being abused). Abuse is different in every relationship and you do not need to be physically assaulted for it to be abuse. Domestic Violence occurs in all types of relationships: couples who are married or not married, in heterosexual relationships or same sex relationships, and across different races, ethnicity and socioeconomic backgrounds. Also, Domestic Violence does not only occur in intimate relationships, but also between family members. Your abuser may be an adult child or grandchild, a parent, an in-law or a sibling.

Abuse can be physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or psychological, or even financial. If you feel like you may be being abused, call an advocate when it is safe to do so.

Here are some warning signs that your partner or family member may be abusive:

  • put downs, shaming you or embarrassing you

  • making you feel like you can’t do anything right

  • being jealous of friends or family

  • keeping you or discouraging you from seeing friends and family

  • controlling all the money

  • controlling who you spend time with

  • keeping you from going to work or school

  • pressuring you to have sex or sexual acts you are uncomfortable with

  • telling you you are a bad parent, or threatening to take away your children

  • threatening to harm your pets

  • destroying your property

  • pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol

  • using drugs or alcohol as an excuse for abusive behaviors

  • preventing you from making your own decisions

  • threatening suicide

  • making you afraid to not do what he or she wants

  • blaming you or others for his or her behavior

  • promising to change, but not showing any signs of actually doing so

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Serving individuals and families affected
by domestic violence and sexual assault.


Your abuser may be monitoring your computer activity. It is always best to access this website from a safe computer (a work computer, your friend's computer, or the local library). Click here to find out more about internet safety.

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