Recognizing the Signs of Domestic Violence

It’s hard to tell whether a partner will eventually become abusive.

Most relationships start off normally. As time goes by, however, behaviors change. A partner may become more controlling as the relationship grows. He or she may become possessive of the other person. These changes usually don’t happen overnight. They often occur gradually. Domestic violence takes many forms and may look very different depending on the relationship. One thing that is very common in a domestic violence situation is that the abusive partner begins to exert power and control over the other partner in multiple ways. Knowing how to recognize the signs of domestic violence in a relationship is important.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is what most people envision when they think of domestic violence. Physical abuse may include punching, hitting, shoving or kicking. Some abusers will engage in biting, scratching or hair-pulling.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is what most people envision when they think of domestic violence. Physical abuse may include punching, hitting, shoving or kicking. Some abusers will engage in biting, scratching or hair-pulling.

Psychological Abuse

Some abusers engage in psychological abuse to control their partners. They use intimidation to cause fear and gain control. They may threaten to hurt themselves, their partner, family members, friends or pets. Some will work to isolate their partners from loved ones or prevent them from engaging in activities they enjoy.

Emotional Abuse

Abusers often try to exert power by breaking down their partner’s sense of self-worth. They may engage in name-calling or frequent criticism. Their words are meant to damage their partner’s self-esteem, making it easier for the abuser to wield power over the victim.

Emotional Abuse

Abusers often try to exert power by breaking down their partner’s sense of self-worth. They may engage in name-calling or frequent criticism. Their words are meant to damage their partner’s self-esteem, making it easier for the abuser to wield power over the victim.

Sexual Abuse

Forcing sexual contact without consent is sexual abuse. Coercing a partner to engage in any sort of sexual act is abuse unless the partner willingly agrees. Making a partner engage in sex following physical violence is sexual abuse.

Economic Abuse

Economic abuse occurs when one partner limits access to financial assets in order to control the other partner. Many abusers seek to exert total control over the couple’s financial resources. An abuser may withhold money to make the partner financially dependent on him or her. In some cases, the abuser will forbid the partner to go to work and earn money. Without access to financial resources, the victim’s options are severely restricted, sometimes dangerously so.

Economic Abuse

Economic abuse occurs when one partner limits access to financial assets in order to control the other partner. Many abusers seek to exert total control over the couple’s financial resources. An abuser may withhold money to make the partner financially dependent on him or her. In some cases, the abuser will forbid the partner to go to work and earn money. Without access to financial resources, the victim’s options are severely restricted, sometimes dangerously so.

Stalking and Cyberstalking Abuse

Stalking is another type of abuse in which one party directs harassing or threatening behavior toward the intended target. Stalkers typically engage in repeated behavior that causes fear for their victims. They may repeatedly attempt to contact their victims despite being aware that the communication is unwanted. “Cyberstalking, ” which means that the abuser is using technology to stalk his or her victim, is increasingly common.

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