Are You Being Abused?

Below is a checklist of behaviors that abusers typically display. This checklist can help you determine if you are being abused and what type of abuse you are experiencing.  The abuser may display some or all of the traits listed below.

Characteristics of an Abuser:

A Physical Abuser:

  • Damages property when they are angry (throw things, punch walls, kick  doors, etc.)
  • Pushes, slaps, punches, bites, kicks or chokes you
  • Abandons you in dangerous or unfamiliar places, or at critical times
  • Scares you by driving recklessly (and thinks it is funny)
  • Uses weapons to scare, threaten or hurt you
  • Forces you to leave your home
  • Traps you in your home or stops you from leaving
  • Prevents you from calling police or seeking medical attention
  • Hurts your children
  • Uses physical force in sexual situations

A Sexual Abuser:

  • Views women as mere objects and believes in rigid gender roles
  • Accuses you of cheating and is jealous of your outside relationships
  • Wants you to dress in a provocative / sexual way
  • Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual / crude names
  • Forces or manipulates you into performing sexual acts
  • Holds you down or ties you up during sex
  • Demands sex when you are ill, tired or hurt; or possibly after beating you
  • Insists on using weapons or objects during sex; and possibly hurts you with them
  • Involves other people in sexual activities with you; forces you to perform with them
  • Ignores your feelings regarding sex / sensuality

An Emotional / Mental / Psychological Abuser: 

  • Calls you names, insults you and/or continually criticizes you
  • Does not trust you and displays acts of jealousy or possessiveness
  • Tries to isolate / alienate you from family and friends
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Does not want you to work
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money
  • Punishes you by withholding affection
  • Expects you to ask permission
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
  • Humiliates you in front of others
  • Emotionally Blackmail you; i.e. use fear, obligation, and/or guilt  to manipulate you
  • You understand their feelings, but they never attempt to understand yours
  • They dismiss your difficulties or issues as unimportant or an overreaction
  • They do not listen to you
  • They always put their needs before yours
  • They expect you to perform tasks that you find unpleasant or humiliating
  • You “walk on eggshells” in an effort not to upset them
  • They ignore logic and prefer histrionics in order to remain the centre of attention
  • They manipulate you into feeling guilty for things that have nothing to do with you
  • They attempt to destroy any outside support you receive by belittling that support in an effort to retain exclusive control over your emotions
  • They never take responsibility for hurting others
  • They blame everyone and everything else for any unfortunate events in their lives
  • They perceive themselves as martyrs or victims and constantly expect preferential treatment

A Financial / Economic Abuser:

  • Sabotages you by stalking or harassing you at your workplace
  • Controls how money you can spend
  • Denies you any access to bank accounts
  • Withholds money or gives you an allowance
  • Runs up large amounts of debt on joint bank accounts
  • Withholds funds for basic needs such as food, diapers and medicine
  • Demands your public benefits

Resources and Statistics


 If you are being abused we urge you to seek Help and Safety

What is Abuse?       What is Domestic Violence?
Are You Being Abused?     Is Someone You Know Being Abused?

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