Abuse Signs and What You Can Do

Publication Date: 
1995
Resource Origin: 
Springtide

You may be becoming or already are a victim of abuse if you:

  • Feel like you have to "walk on eggshells" to keep him from getting angry and are frightened by his temper.
  • Feel you can't live without him.
  • Stop seeing other friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because he doesn't like them.
  • Are afraid to tell him your worries and feelings about the relationship.
  • Are often compliant because you are afraid to hurt his feelings; and have the urge to "rescue" him when he is troubled.
  • Feel that you are the only one who can help him and that you should try to "reform" him.
  • Find yourself apologizing to yourself or others for your partner's behaviour when you are treated badly.
  • Stop expressing opinions if he doesn't agree with them.
  • Stay because you feel he will kill himself if you leave.
  • Believe that his jealousy is a sign of love.
  • Have been kicked, hit, shoved, or had things thrown at you by him when he was jealous or angry.
  • Believe the critical things he says to make you feel bad about yourself.
  • Believe that there is something wrong with you if you don't enjoy the sexual things he makes you do.
  • Believe in the traditional ideas of what a man and a woman should be and do -- that the man makes the decisions and the woman pleases him.
  • (some people) Have been abused as a child or seen your mother abused.

If you are abused:

  • You are not alone and you are not to blame.
  • You cannot control his violence.

There are ways you can make yourself safer:

  • Call the police if you have been assaulted. Charging abusive males is a necessary step in reducing physical violence.
  • Tell someone and keep a record of all incidents for evidence.
  • Write down the details for yourself as soon as possible after the assault. Keep it in a safe place where he won't find it.
  • Develop a safety plan. Memorize emergency numbers. Keep spare house and car keys handy. Know where you can stay in an emergency.
  • Consider ending the relationship as soon as possible. Without intervention, his violence will increase in frequency and severity as time passes.
  • Recognize that no one has the right to control you and that it is everyone's human right to live without fear.

Look out for men who:

  • Do not listen to you, ignore you or talk over you.
  • Sit or stand too close to you, making you uncomfortable and seem to enjoy it.
  • Do only what they want or push you to get what they want.
  • Express anger and violence towards women either through words or physically.
  • Have a bad attitude toward women.
  • Are overly possessive or jealous.
  • Drink or use drugs heavily.
  • Have a reputation for "scoring".