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
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.