Recognizing Abuse

The following are some signs of abuse to be aware of in a relationship. Recognizing the signs could help you stay safe.

Someone who is abusive may:
  • Act jealous or possessive and say it is out of love.
  • Blame you for their behavior, saying “you’re making me do this to you.”
  • Destroy or threaten to destroy your things.
  • Threaten to hurt you, themselves, your family members, your friends, or your pets.
  • Touch you in a way that hurts or scares you, or in any way that you do not want to be touched.
  • Force sex or sexual acts in ways or at times that are not comfortable for you.
  • Threaten to report you to immigration or to destroy your papers.
  • Get angry unpredictably or in a way that scares you.
  • Blame you, others, alcohol, stress, depression, etc., for their violent behavior.
  • Belittle or make fun of your concerns and fears about your relationship.
  • Threaten to “out” you to family, friends or work.
  • Act differently in public than in private.
  • Isolate you by making it difficult or impossible to be with your family or friends.
  • Threaten to take your children and claim you won’t see them again.
  • Make promises to change but does not follow through.
Some behaviors have been identified to be especially dangerous:
  • Threatening to kill you or themselves, especially if the abuser has access to weapons
  • Strangling, choking
  • Stalking
  • Controlling most or all of your activities