How can you tell if you are being abused?

How can you tell if you are being abused?
I do get this question a lot. I frequently get emails saying "my partner is doing this this and this abuse?" or I get emails telling me some horrible details and the writer wants to know if I think what is happening is abuse. I also get asked "when is enough is enough?" I always answer "If you have to ask if you are being abused, you are being abused." And if you have to ask when is enough too much, then you already know the answer to your own question.

If you think you are being abused, considering your answers to the following questions....

Does your partner prevent you from seeing your family or friends?

Does your partner constantly criticize you and your abilities?

Does your partner intimidate or threaten you?

Does your partner hit, punch, slap, or kick you?

If you have a gun in your home, has your partner ever threatened to use it?

Has your partner ever prevented you from leaving the house, getting a job, or continuing your education?

Has your partner ever destroyed things that you cared about?

Has your partner ever forced you to have sex or forced you to engage in sex that makes you feel uncomfortable?

Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive?

Call you several times a night or show up to make sure you are where you said you would be?

Use drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you?

Does he/she blame you for their own abusive behavior?

Are you afraid to tell your partner about a normal happening - your car needs brakes, your boss made you work overtime - because you're not sure how he/she will react?

Make you feel like there "is no way out" of the relationship? Or make you feel like if you leave, you will have no chance at a good life or future relationships?

Have you begun to believe that you're the crazy one -- that you're the one with the problem??

If you're in an abusive relationship or even if you think you're being abused but it's "not bad enough" to do anything about it, remember: it is. Even if the above seems a little minor to you, you are being abused and no one deserves to be treated this way, and everyone is worthy of respect. Even you.

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