This article showed up in my Facebook thread posted by one of the many organizations I have “liked” on Facebook. I thought it was interesting and thought provoking. I think a lot of us believe that there is only abuse when violence is involved, but abuse goes so much deeper. It’s about control.
Here is a list of possible signs of abuse:
- Monitors what you’re doing all the time
- Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful all the time
- Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family
- Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school
- Gets very angry during and after drinking alcohol or using drugs
- Controls how you spend your money
- Controls your use of needed medicines
- Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
- Humiliates you in front of others
- Destroys your property or things that you care about
- Threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets
- Hurts you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
- Uses (or threatens to use) a weapon against you
- Forces you to have sex against your will
- Controls your birth control or insists that you get pregnant
- Blames you for his or her violent outbursts
- Threatens to harm himself or herself when upset with you
- Says things like, “If I can’t have you then no one can.”
There is a lot more important information on this website. I would encourage anyone who feels like they may be being abused, or know someone who may be being abused, to read it.
Edited on 1/8/2013 to add:
I’m a big fan of the early seasons of MTV’s “The Real World,” back when the show was filled with intelligent people who had interesting things to say, talents to share, and ambitions beyond getting drunk and hooking up. On the first season the oldest castmate was Kevin Powell, a teacher/poet/activist. A couple of years ago on an episode of Oprah he shared that in the past he had been abusive and violent toward women and now through therapy he has changed his ways and has since gone on to educate others. On Oprah’s website there was a list of other red flags of abusive behaviors to watch out for.
- He/she pushes too far, too fast, planning your future together right away.
- He/she hates his/her mother and is nasty to her.
- He/she wants your undivided attention.
- He/she must always be in charge.
- He/she always has to win.
- He/she breaks promises all the time.
- He/she can’t take criticism and always justifies his/her actions.
- He/she blames someone else for anything that goes wrong.
- He/she’s jealous of your close friends, family members, and all other men/women.
- He/she always asks you where you went and whom you saw.
- He/she has extreme highs and lows that are unpredictable.
- He/she has a mean temper.
- He/she often says you don’t know what you’re talking about.
- He/she makes you feel like you’re not good enough.
- He/she withdraws his/her love or approval as punishment.
- He/she pushes you to do things that make you feel uneasy, like taking the day off from work or even breaking the law.