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
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.
SIGNS SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING ABUSED
Keep an eye out for things like:
Excuses for injuries
Personality changes, like low self-esteem in someone who was always confident
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
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