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David Baxter

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What is Abusive?
By Sandra Kiume
December 10, 2007

What exactly is the definition of domestic abuse? Verbal, psychological, economic, it can manifest in ways that don?t show bruises. HelpGuide maintains a great, concise page about the cycle of violence, types of abuse, warning signs and red flags. If you suspect someone is being abused, or if you feel uneasy in your own situation, consider these questions.

Does your partner:

  • humiliate, criticize, or yell at you?
  • treat you so badly that you?re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?
  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?
Although that page and most others like it refer to the abused as female and the abuser male, the opposite happens more often than you might realize. The National Clearinghouse on Family Violence released an Overview Paper on Intimate Partner Abuse Toward Men with detailed information and eyebrow-raising statistics. Women are at higher risk of more severe violence, but either partner can be victimized. Nearly half the time in abusive relationships, both partners are abusive to each other.

If you are being victimized please seek help through a domestic abuse hotline and/or counselling service. If in danger of imminent violence, of course first call 911 or your country?s emergency services number.
 

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