Too often, we think that partner abuse is a private matter between the partners. But if you have ever loved someone who suffered abuse then you know how devastating that abuse can be, not only on the victim, but on everyone who loves the victim. Moreover, since abuse is often passed along from one person to another, much like a contagious disease, the abuse of anyone should concern everyone. With that said, here are eight simple statements to determine if you or someone you know are in an abusive relationship. Answer “yes” or “no” to each statement:
I am afraid of my partner. Yes or no?
I cannot express my opinion or my feelings without being afraid of my partner’s reaction. Yes or no?
I always ask my partner for permission to see family or friends, to spend money, or to buy something for myself. Yes or no?
I constantly manipulate myself, my children, and my environment in order to make things “just so” for my partner. Yes or no?
I try and try to please my partner only to be criticized again. Yes or no?
I sometimes feel like I’m living with two different people, a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. Yes or no?
I am confused about the difference in the way my partner views our relationship and the way I see it. Yes or no?
I am beginning to believe all the terrible things my partner says about me and accuses me of. Sometimes I’m not sure what is real anymore. Maybe I am going crazy. Yes or no?
If you answer “yes” to just half the questions, you are being abused. Regardless of whether you want to leave your relationship or not — and that choice is entirely yours — you should seek professional help. Contact your local women’s shelter, a relationship therapist, a psychiatrist, or even an abuse hotline. For the number to an abuse hotline in your country, simply google “National Abuse Hotline”. Learn what your options are.