How can I tell if I am being abused?
The answer isn't always obvious. The RYKA ROSE foundation provides the following questions to help you determine whether you are in an abusive relationship. Do you recognize yourself, or a friend, here?
Does the person you love ...
- Track all of your time?
- Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
- Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
- Prevent you from working or attending school?
- Criticize you for little things?
- Anger easily when drinking or on drugs?
- Control all finances and force you to account for what you spend?
- Humiliate you in front of others?
- Destroy your personal property or sentimental items?
- Hit punch, slap, kick, or bite you or your children?
- Threaten to hurt you or your children?
- Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
- Force you to have sex against your will?
If you find yourself saying yes to several of these questions, you need to learn more about domestic abuse right away.
What is different about being abused by someone you know?
It may be harder to recognize and to acknowledge that it is happening to you. There are strong emotional and social forces that can keep even a very abusive relationship going for a long, long time.
It can also be emotionally more difficult to decide that you need to take strong action to protect yourself, but knowing your attacker does not change your right to protect yourself.
What to do if you are being abused
If you're in an abusive situation, you should not try to get through it alone. You should get help from a local shelter, a local women's group, or an organization like AWARE.
Your danger may temporarily increase when you try to separate from your abuser, so get help to plan that step carefully. Some sources for that help are local women's shelters (look in the phone book or ask at a police station).