• Are you afraid to disagree with your partner because of his/her temper?
• Do you make excuses to yourself or to others for your partner's behavior?
• Does your partner accuse you of flirting or cheating?
• Does your partner destroy things that you care about?
• Does your partner grab, pull, or push you and/or hit in places where the bruises won't show?
• Does your partner threaten to harm or kill you, your child, your pet, or your family?
• Does your partner force you to have sex or do sexual things that make you feel uncomfortable?
• Does your partner humiliate you in public or private?
• Has your partner displayed a weapon or destroyed things to scare you?
• Does your partner control the family finances and deny you money and/or credit cards?
• Are you not allowed to have house or car keys of your own?
• Does your partner make it difficult or impossible for you to go to work or school?
• Has your partner manipulated you with "head games?"
-- If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be or may become a victim of domestic abuse.
The cycle of abuse:
• Tension-building. The abuser becomes frustrated and angry. They may swear at, criticize, or threaten the victim. During this time, the victim feels the need to keep peace in the relationship and may minimize the incidents. Many describe this time as "walking on eggshells."
• Violence. Tension builds to the point where physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse occurs.
• Making Up. The abuser may apologize for their actions, bring gifts, or promise to change. They may make excuses, blame the victim for causing the abuse, or deny that the abuse took place. They may ask for another chance. The victim may believe that the abuse will stop. Often, it happens more frequently and may become more severe.
Source: Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven and Women's Support Services, Sharon, CTCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun