50 Questions to See if You Are Being Abused
What are the signs of an abusive relationship? What are the warning signs of domestic abuse and domestic violence? Am I being abused? Is this abuse?
To the average person, asking yourself “am I being abused?” or not knowing if you are being abused seems strange, but many people who are in abusive relationships have been experiencing some sort of abuse since early childhood. If you’ve been exposed to abusive behavior for years, you can become accustomed to it. It’s your “normal” in life. So living with an abuser seems perfectly acceptable.
That’s why many victims are shocked when they finally realize they are being abused. Below are some questions for you to answer. The more you answer “yes” to these signs of an abusive relationship, the higher the possibility that you are in an abusive relationship.
50 Questions to Ask Yourself
1.Does your partner have a bad temper?
2.Do you live in fear of your partner?
3.Does it feel like you have to walk on “egg shells” at times so he/she will not explode?
4.Has your partner threatened to harm you, the children, pets, or anything else?
5.Is your partner violent toward you or the children?
6.Has your partner ever threatened to kill you?
7.Has your partner ever physically hurt you?
8.Has your partner ever made a gesture of harm toward you? For example: put hands around your neck, or imitated holding a knife or gun?
9.Do you fear going home?
10.Is your partner unpredictable?
11.Has your partner threatened to take your children away (especially if you have tried to leave the relationship)?
12.Has your partner tried convincing you that he or she will report you, or prove that you are an unfit parent, and take the kids away permanently if you leave?
13.Is your partner cruel to animals?
14.Do they destroy your property or your children’s?
15.Has your partner destroyed household or work-related property?
16.Has your partner ever threatened to commit suicide, especially if you try to leave?
17.Have they ever abandoned you, left you places, or locked you out?
18.Are you afraid they may kill you?
19.Do you feel emotionally numb?
20.Do you feel that there is nowhere to turn for help?
21.Do you feel you are alone, helpless, trapped, isolated?
22.Does your partner completely control you?
23.Do you blame yourself for the abuse?
24.Do they tell you that you caused him/her to abuse you or the children?
25.Do they blame the violence on stress, alcohol, drugs, money worries, work problems, house not clean, bad behavior of the children, etc?
26.When seeking medical help, do you lie about the bruising, broken bones, stab wounds, etc?
27.Do you lie about your partner’s real behavior?
28.Do you believe that you are the crazy one in the family?
29.Do you believe that you may be overreacting to your partner’s abusive behavior? Do you minimize it?
30.Do you feel as if you can never do anything right for your partner?
31.Do you live in fear that they will take your children from you?
32.Do you feel that the only way out of your relationship is if your partner is dead; do you fantasize about killing your partner?
33.Do you take the brunt of the abuse so that the children don’t have to?
34.Do they keep you from seeing friends and family? Keep you from working? Keep you from volunteering?
35.Are you embarrassed or humiliated about your partner’s behavior and because of that, do not invite people over?
36.Has your partner ever stopped you from doing what you want to do?
37.Do they question where you have been or where you’re going?
38.Is your partner jealous or possessive? Does your partner check up on you?
39.Does your partner limit the time you can go places? (For example: you can go to the market but must come straight home. You’re given no more than 30 minutes.)
40.Does your partner continually accuse you of having an affair?
41.Does your partner abuse you verbally?
42.Do they embarrass you, harass you, or criticize you in front of others?
43.Do they minimize, mock, or insult what you think or say?
44.Were you abused as a child, or did you grow up with domestic violence in the household?
45.Was your partner abused as a child, or grew up with domestic violence in the household?
46.Does your partner have low self-esteem?
47.Is your partner kind, giving, or loving after a bout of violence?
48.Have they made promises to change?
49.Have they promised “never to do it again?”
50.Has your partner promised to get help “if” you come back?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. Often victims are amazed to learn that they have been living in an abusive relationship, even though their partner has been violent to them for years.
Abusers have the ability to make victims feel crazy, and even convince them that they caused the violence that was done to them, or that the abuse happened in a different way than it actually did.
After experiencing years of this kind of manipulation (or signs of an abusive relationship) by the abuser, the victim believes exactly what the abuser says. If you feel you are in an abusive situation, help is widely available to you. We want you to know you are not alone.
A few side notes:
•After reading, Signs of an Abusive Relationship, Signs of Domestic Abuse: Am I Being Abused? many women ask me, “If I answered ‘yes’ to (insert number) questions, does that mean I am in an abusive relationship?” To answer that question: it’s hard to answer that question. Every situation is different. Please continue to seeking help and continue to learn about abuse and domestic violence.
•Many times women who read, Signs of an Abusive Relationship, Am I being Abused? realize for the first time they are abused, this causes sadness, grief, hopelessness, fear, anger, depression and a multitude of other emotions. Emotions are good. However, don’t confront the abuser—not now, not yet. Confronting the abuser is dangerous. Try talking with women in our support group, call the domestic violence hotline.
•The Signs of an Abusive Relationship questions are only a fraction of could-be situations. Some of these questions may have made you think of other situations that you’ve experienced. This is normal. Continue seeking help, and don’t give up.
•The intention of Signs of an Abusive Relationship, Signs of Domestic Abuse: Am I Being Abused? is not to cause fear but to give you knowledge
•If you’ve read over these signs of an abusive relationship and they are very similar to your situation and you feel you are in a dangerous situation, please find safety for you and your children.
For counseling, please call The Refuge Center at 615-771-1155
For local community resource, please contact The TN Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. http://tncoalition.org/