Know the signs of partner abuse?
Domestic violence is common throughout every possible community no matter how much a family earns or how much education anyone has. It doesn’t matter what country an abuser or survivor comes from. It doesn’t matter the gender, the status of dating or marriage, age, or sexual identity. It DOES matter if we know what are healthy relationship signs and what are NOT healthy. For ourselves, our kids, co-workers, neighbors, or other people in our lives, we’re sharing the signs and where you can turn to with questions.
RESPOND, Inc., a pioneer in the movement to end domestic violence, is New England's first domestic violence agency and the second oldest in the nation. Its work began in the early 1970s, when four Somerville, Massachusetts women started a grassroots effort to support victims of domestic violence by opening their own homes as safe havens for women fleeing abuse. In 1974, these "founding mothers" formed RESPOND, Inc. For over 35 years RESPOND has provided life-saving shelter, support services, training and education to more than 100,000 members of the community.
What is Abuse?
It’s abuse if a partner ever:
· Screamed at you, put you down, threatened, ridiculed or criticized you repeatedly?
· Been constantly or violently jealous?
· Punched the wall or broken things in anger?
· Blamed you for their problems?
· Used or threatened to use a gun, knife or other weapon against you?
· Told you no one will believe you?
· Kept you from seeing your friends or family?
· Coerced or forced you to participate in sexual acts?
· Kept your paycheck from you or restricted access to your money?
· Relentlessly called, texted, IM'd, e-mailed or used other forms of technology to harass you?
· Followed or stalked you?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may need some help. Below is a list that will help identify a high risk domestic violence relationship. This list is intended as a guideline; if "yes" is answered to one or more of these questions, please call RESPOND's 24/7 hotline to create a safety plan, get more information and learn what you can do to minimize the level of risk.
Is there or has there been:
1. An escalation in violence (severity or frequency) within the past year?
2. Access to guns and/or weapon(s)?
3. Recent estrangement (left/ended the relationship or recent separation within the last year)?
5. Threats, display of or use of a weapon(s)?
6. Threats to kill you/your children/family?
7. Avoided arrest or police involvement for domestic violence?
8. Child(ren) from another relationship?
9. Forced or coerced sex?
10. Strangulation/choking, past or present?
11. Use of drugs?
12. Abuse of alcohol?
13. Control of daily activities?
14. Violently or obsessively jealous?
15. Violence during pregnancy?
16. Attempted or threatened suicide?
17. Threats to kill or harm children?
18. Fear of being seriously harmed or killed?
If so, you may be in an abusive relationship. Sometimes people are not sure if they are being abused. Abuse is a pattern of controlling and coercive behavior one individual uses over another to gain power and control in the relationship. People who are abused often blame themselves, think no one will believe their story or think their situation is hopeless with no way out. If you have experienced these things, are being hurt or abused in any way, it is not your fault! At RESPOND, we will help you find strategies to keep safe. You are not alone. Please call RESPOND's 24/7 hotline at for more information, options, resources and referrals.
If you concerned for a friend, loved one, colleague or family member, please call the 24/7 hotline . RESPOND can listen and help determine the best way to approach your loved one to let them know there is help.