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Intimate Partner Abuse

Intimate Partner Abuse is a pattern of controlling behavior with a current or former dating partner or spouse. Abuse occurs regardless of age, income, culture, religion, education and race. It often begins with isolation, jealousy, threats or name-calling and may include emotional, sexual or verbal abuse. Physical violence may or may not be part of this pattern.

Signs of an Abusive Relationship

  • Coercion and Threats: making/carrying out threats to do something to hurt you; threatening to leave, commit suicide, and/or to report you to authorities; forcing you to drop charges of any sort; making you do illegal acts
  • Intimidation: making you afraid with gestures, actions, looks; breaking/destroying property; abusing pets; displaying weapons
  • Emotional Abuse: putting you down; making you feel bad about yourself; calling you names; making you think you're crazy; playing mind games; humiliating you; making you feel guilty
  • Denial/Blame: controlling what you do, who you see, who you talk to, what you read, and where you go; limiting your outside involvement; and using jealousy to justify actions
  • Using the Children: making you feel guilty about the children; using children to relay messages; using visitation to harass you; threatening to take children away
  • Master/Servant Behavior: treating you like a servant; making all big decision; acting like master of the house
  • Economic Abuse: preventing you from getting or keeping a job; making you ask for money; giving you an allowance; taking all your money; not letting you know about or have access to the family income

Signs of a Healthy Relationship

  • Negotiation and Fairness: willing to compromise; accepting change; seeking mutually satisfying resolution to conflict
  • Non-threatening Behavior: talking and acting so that you feel safe and comfortable
  • Respect: listening non-judgmentally; emotionally affirming and understanding; valuing opinions
  • Trust and Support: supporting your life goals; respecting your feelings, friends, activities, and opinions
  • Honesty and Accountability: accepting responsibility; admitting being wrong; open and truthful communication
  • Responsible Parenting: sharing parental responsibilities; being a positive non-violent role model
  • Shared Responsibility: making family decisions together; mutually agreeing on a fair distribution of work
  • Economic Partnership: joint money decisions; both partners benefit from financial agreements
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