What does an abusive relationship look like?


  •   Embarrass you with put-downs
  •   Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go
  •   Look at you or act in ways that scare you
  •   Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you
  •   Stop you from seeing your friends or family members
  •   Control the money in the relationship by taking your money or Social  Security check, making you ask for money or refusing to give you money.
  •   Make all of the decisions
  •   Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children
  •   Prevent you from working or attending school
  •   Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse or tell you it’s your own fault
  •   Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets
  •   Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons
  •   Attempt to force you to drop criminal charges
  •   Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you
If any of these seem familiar to you, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

The Power & Control diagram is a particularly helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are used by a batterer to establish and maintain control over their partner.  They are less easily identified, yet firmly establish a pattern of intimidation and control in the relationship.


For detailed information on services in your area follow the link to the national domestic violence hotline or call 1800.799.7233 (safe) or 1800.787.3224 tty