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If you feel like you’re being abused, there’s a good chance you may be, and it’s worth getting help. Keep that in mind as you think about these signs:

  • Your partner bullies, threatens, or controls you

  • Accuses you of having an affair often

  • Blames you for abuse

  • Criticizes you

  • Tells you what to wear and how you should look

  • Threatens to kill you or someone close to you

  • Throws things or punches walls when angry

  • Yells at you and makes you feel small

  • Keeps cash and credit cards from you

  • Puts you on an allowance and makes you explain every dollar you spend

  • Keeps you from working whatever job you want

  • Steals money from you or your friends

  • Won’t let you have money for basic needs like food and clothes

  • Tries to cut you off from family and friends

  • Keeps close tabs on where you go and whom you go with

  • Makes you ask for an OK to see friends and family

  • Embarrasses you in front of others, and it makes you want to avoid people

  • Abandons you in a place you don’t know

  • Attacks you with weapons

  • Keeps you from eating, sleeping, or getting medical care

  • Locks you in or out of your house

  • Punches, pushes, kicks, bites, pulls hair






Signs of sexual abuse:

  • Forces you to have sex

  • Makes you dress in a sexual way

  • Makes you feel like you owe them sex

  • Tries to give you an STD

  • Won’t use condoms or other birth control


What to Do if You’re Being Abused


First, know that you deserve better and that this isn’t your fault.

If you’re in an emergency, call 911.

  • It can be hard to decide whether to stay or leave. A good place to start is with a call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233). Call from a friend’s house or somewhere else where you feel safe.

  • You can also turn to friends, family, neighbors, your doctor, or your spiritual community.

  • Also make sure you have an emergency escape plan:

  • Hide a set of car keys.

  • Pack a bag with keys, extra clothes, important papers, money, and medicines. You might keep it at a friend’s house.

  • Have a plan for calling the police in an emergency. You might have a code word so your kids, family, friends, or co-workers know you’re in danger.

  • Know where you’ll go and how you’ll get there.



Keep an eye out for things like:

  • Personality changes, like low self-esteem in someone who was always confident

  • Excuses for injuries

  • Constantly checking in with their partner

  • Never having money on hand

  • Overly worried about pleasing their partner

  • Skipping out on work, school, or social outings for no clear reason

  • Wearing clothes that don’t fit the season, like long sleeves in summer to cover bruises


What to Do if You Think Someone Is Being Abused

  • Say something. You might have your doubts. But if you’re thinking about it, there’s usually a reason. Someone’s life could be in danger.

  • When you talk to the person, you can:

  • Ask if anything is wrong

  • Talk specifically about what concerns you

  • Listen carefully

  • Let the person know you’re always there to talk and that your conversations are always private

  • Offer to help

  • Support the person’s choices

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