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Domestic Violence – Know the Signs

Know the Signs

Domestic violence is often more than just physical abuse. It encompasses sexual, emotional, economic and psychological violence. Initially, identifying the signs of an abusive relationship can be difficult, especially if the abuser uses subtle tactics to gain power and control.  It is very common for survivors to recognize the beginning of the abuse as the first time the abusers hit them, but really the cycle of violence may have started early on in the relationship. Perpetrators tend to be charming and very convincing when exerting power and control tactics. However, understanding common occurrences or patterns in an unhealthy relationship and being able to begin an informed conversation is a major step to healing and helping others to join in understanding why and how domestic violence occurs.

Common signs of an abusive relationship are if one or both partners:

  • Prevents contact and communication with friends and family
  • Controls money and important identification, such as driver’s licenses and passports
  • Causes embarrassment with bad names and put-downs
  • Critical about survivors appearance and/or behavior
  • Attempts to control what partner wears
  • Has unrealistic expectations, like partner being available at all times
  • Threatens to take away or hurt the children
  • Acts like abuse is not a big deal, or denies it’s happening
  • Plays mind games to place blame on the survivor
  • Destroys property or threatens to kill pets
  • Intimidates with guns, knives or other weapons
  • Shoves, slaps, chokes, hits or forces sexual acts
  • Threatens to commit suicide  Go to Joyful Heart Website for information about assault, abuse and violence on women, children and the elderly

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