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Signs of an abusive relationship

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you
feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partnerconstantly watching what you say and
do in order to avoid a blow-upchances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs
that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control
you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.
To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more yes!
answers, the more likely it is that you"re in an abusive relationship.
Your Inner Thoughts an" #eelings Your $artners Belittling Behaviour
%o &ou'
feel afraid of your partner much of the
%oes &our partner'
humiliate or yell at you#
avoid certain topics out of fear of angering
your partner#
criticise you and put you down#
feel that you can"t do anything right for
your partner#
treat you so badly that you"re embarrassed for your
friends or family to see#
believe that you deserve to be hurt or
ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments#
wonder if you"re the one who is cra$y# blame you for their own abusive behavior#
feel emotionally numb or helpless# see you as property or a se% ob&ect, rather than as a
'our (artner"s )iolent *ehavior or Threats 'our (artner"s +ontrolling *ehavior
%oes &our partner'
have a bad and unpredictable temper#
%oes &our partner'
act e%cessively &ealous and possessive#
hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you# control where you go or what you do#
threaten to take your children away or
harm them#
keep you from seeing your friends or family#
threaten to commit suicide if you leave# limit your access to money, the phone, or the car#
force you to have se%# limit your access to money, the phone, or the car#
destroy your belongings# constantly check up on you#
When broaching the subject, you should make an opening supportive
statement, such as:
Because abuse and violence are so common in peoples lives and I care about
you, Ive begun to talk to all my patients about it routinely.

Here are some examples of recommended questions:
,We all disagree at home. What happens when you and your partner disagree?
,During a disagreement, have there been times when the argument has
become physical?
,Does your partner ever lose his temper? I so, how does he react? Does he
throw things?
Do you ever get scared?
,!ter an argument, where do you go i you are worried and upset?
,Do you ever eel araid o your partner?
,Do you eel sae at home?
,"as your partner ever threatened or abused your children?
,"as your partner ever orced you to have se# when you didnt want to? Does
he ever orce you to engage in se# that makes you eel uncomortable?
,!re you currently in a relationship in which you have been physically hurt or
threatened by your partner? "ave you ever been in such a relationship at any
,"as your partner ever prevented you rom leaving the house, seeing riends,
getting a $ob or continuing your education?
,you mentioned that your partner uses drugs or alcohol. "ow does he act
when he is drinking or on drugs? Is he ever verbally or physically abusive?
Make validating comments such as:
(Im glad you told me. %ou are brave.
,%ou are not alone. "elp is available.
,It is not your ault. It is your partners responsibility to end the abuse, not
,&o one deserves to live with violence' you dont deserve this.
(atient )esponse
I ater this discussion, there is a belie that the patient is being or has been abused' the
physician should encourage the patient to contact one o the reerrals given in the
resource guide. )emember to be empathetic, sincere and to actively listen