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Domestic violence  is a pattern of behaviors used by one person to maintain power and control over another person in an intimate relationship. 

Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevents a person from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of domestic violence/abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship.

Some of the signs of a psychological or emotional abusive relationship include a person who:

  • Tells you that you can never do anything right

  • Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away

  • Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members

  • Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs

  • Controls every penny spent in the household

  • Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses

  • Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you

  • Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do

  • Prevents you from making your own decisions

  • Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children

  • Prevents you from working or attending school

  • Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets

  • Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons

  • Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with

  • Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol 

Some signs of a physical abusive relationship include:

  • Pulling your hair, punching, slapping, kicking, biting or choking you.

  • Forbidding you from eating or sleeping.

  • Hurting you with weapons.

  • Preventing you from calling the police or seeking medical attention.

  • Harming your children.

  • Abandoning you in unfamiliar places.

  • Driving recklessly or dangerously when you are in the car with them.

  • Forcing you to use drugs or alcohol (especially if you’ve had a substance abuse problem in the past).