Domestic violence is a pattern of control one person uses over another in an intimate relationship.
Types of abuse and control can be:
Emotional abuse: Possessiveness; isolation; jealousy; threats of arrests or child protection reports; the feeling of walking on eggshells; the feeling you can never do enough or anything right; “gas lighting,” or calling you and/or your suspicions crazy; using past or current substance abuse to keep you from leaving;
Verbal abuse: Name calling, especially in front of children; belittling; threatening to kill you, themselves or your pets; “If I can’t have you, no one can.”
Physical abuse: Keeping you awake at night; choking; not allowing you to leave or be alone in a room; throwing and breaking items, including cell phones; hitting, punching, and kicking; hurting family pets; pressure to engage in unwanted sexual activity such as not using a condom or outright sexual assault;
Financial Abuse: Not allowing you to work or not working themselves (either creates financial instability to keep you from leaving); withholding money; giving you an “allowance” for food or gas; withholding access to bank cards and accounts; withholding access to vehicles or the home;
What are some warning signs?
Everyone and every relationship are different but listed below can be some general red flags:
- Moving the relationship along very quickly even if it’s uncomfortable for you
- Keeping you from friends and family and maybe even work
- Demanding to check your phone and asking for passwords to your social media accounts
- Showing anger, a short temper, and an inability to cope; blaming everyone else for this behavior