Signs of Abuse
The signs of an abusive relationship may be direct (hitting / forced sex) or subtle (putdowns / extreme texting) but the key thing about an abusive relationship is that it is a pattern of control.
Someone who chooses to abuse often demonstrates many moods and obsessive traits. They often only see how someone hurt them and NOT how they are hurting themselves and others. The most common trait that an abusive partner will demonstrate is narccisstic / self-obsessed views / attitudes. The impact on a woman is she begins to question her value, worth and starts to believe she is a failure in the relationship even when she stands up for herself. The longer she stays the deeper she starts to feel the impact and women will often say they are living in constant fear, aniexity and confusion.
Many abusive relationships show NO or sporadic physical assaults yet many think the way they will know it is abusive is if they are punched. Many will dismiss other controlling signs as not a big deal yet some of the most dangerous signs are the NON hitting signs.
These are common signs found in most abusive relationships:
- After You Just Meet Pushes for Quick Involvement and Exclusivity
Wants to know everyone you have ever been involved with and then uses this information to make you feel less worthy
- Irratic Thoughts / Actions
One minute he loves you and the next he is yelling or putting you down. It feels like walking on eggshells or that you can’t relax because his mood or wants could change any minute
- Excessive Jealousy and/or Unexplained Jealous Accusations
Obsessive thinking / actions where lack of trust and controlling your movements or who you are communicating / meeting with interrogates you intensely about who you talked to and where you were (expecially if you're late)
Isolates you and/or tries to cut you off or interfers with your relationships with family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of "causing trouble". Loads you up with responsibilities / tasks so he keeps you busy and knows your routine
- Self Centred Actions and lacks empathy for others
Blames others for problems or mistakes. It’s always some one else’s fault if something goes wrong twists stories around or lies and tells you his other relationship problems or ex-girlfriends were the problem
- Makes Others Responsible for His or Her Feelings
The abuser says "You make me angry" instead of "I am angry” or says "you are hurting me by not doing what I tell you”.
- Cruelty to Children and Animals
May expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (i.e. gets angry at a 3 yr. old for wetting their diaper), or may tease them until they cry 65% of abusers who abuse their partners will also abuse their children, kills or punishes animals brutally.
- Sexual Actions
He doesn’t respect your thoughts or feelings and pressures you for sex or sexual acts you do not desire to do; makes sexual degrading comments about you, wants you to take pictures or videos of yourself naked/or in sexual act; wants you to send you naked pictures via internet (phone/email).
- Verbal / Emotional Actions
Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel, hurtful things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names
- Rigid Sex/ Gender Roles
Expects you to serve, obey, remain at home. Expects you to take care of household, children on your own
- Physical Threats of Violence
Threatens to harm you, then dismisses it later, chokes you, uses his body to keep you trapped in a room or in a space, punches, spits, etc.
- Destroying Property
If you wish to speak with Front Line Shelter Counsellor please call 905-387-8881 (Crisis Line) or to make an appointment call 905-387-9959 or at the Women Centre of Hamilton 905-522-0127 or if you live in Flamborough call us at 289-895-8580.