Definitions of Abuse and Battering
Abuse is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Abuse happens when one person believes he (or she) is entitled to control another. Assault, intimidation and domestic violence are crimes.
Intimate personal violence may include emotional abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, using children, threats, intimidation, isolation, and a variety of other behaviors to maintain fear, intimidation and power.
Psychological Abuse. Mental violence can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, isolation from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property. Battering escalates. It often begins with behaviors like threats, insults, name calling, violence in her/his presence (such as punching a fist through a wall), damage to objects or pets. It may escalate to physical abuse.
Physical Abuse. Physical abuse can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks. Physical abuse may include restraining, pushing, slapping, pinching, punching, kicking, biting, sexual assault, tripping, throwing. Finally, it may become life-threatening with serious behaviors such as choking, breaking bones, or the use of weapons.
Sexual Abuse. Physical attacks by the abuser are often accompanied by, or culminate in, sexual violence: the individual is forced to have sexual intercourse or take part in unwanted sexual activity.
Does your partner . . .
__Embarrass or make fun of you in front of family and friends?
__Put down your accomplishments or goals?
__Make you feel like you are unable to make decisions?
__Use intimidation or threats to get you to agree?
__Tell you that you are nothing without him/her?
__Treat you roughly: grab, push, pinch, shove or hit you?
__Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?
__Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?
__Blame you for how he/she feels or acts?
__Pressure you sexually for things you aren't ready for?
__Make you feel like there is no way out of the relationship?
__Prevent you from doing things you want, like spending time with your friends and family?
__Try to keep you from leaving after a fight, or leave you somewhere after a fight to "teach you a lesson?"
Do you . . .
__Sometimes feel afraid of how your partner will act?
__Constantly make excuses to other people for your partner's behavior?
__Believe that you can help your partner change only if you change something about yourself?
__Spend energy trying not to do anything that would cause conflict or make your partner
__Feel like no matter what you do, your partner is never happy with you?
__Always do what your partner wants instead of what you want?
__Stay with your partner because you are afraid of what they might do if you broke up?
If any of these sounds like your relationship, talk to someone.