Is the one you love abusing you?

Recognising that you are in an abusive relationship is not always easy. Some abusive behaviours are subtle, for example insisting that you do not work but remain in the family home, constantly making negative remarks about how you look, or phoning you all the time to check where you are and who you are with. It is not only about physical or sexual violence but includes emotional, psychological and financial abuse. It is about power and control. It is not about having an anger problem and should not to be excused because the abuser has had too much to drink, or a difficult childhood. All abuses are hurtful and can have short and long term effects. Look at the section 'am I abused' for an explanation of different types of abuse.

If you feel that you are walking on egg shells, worthless, depressed, controlled, frightened, or just instinctively know that something is wrong then it maybe that you are being abused. If you are being pushed, slapped or worse then it is abuse. If you are being forced into having sex or made to do things or watch things that you do not want to, then that is abuse.

If you are a victim then it is important to remember that you are not to blame, whatever your partner says. It is their fault not yours. Taking action against a partner/ex-partner or family member can be hard. There are organisations that can and will give you all the support and advice you need whether you decide to stay or leave. If you are considering leaving an abusive relationship then please seek advice and support. Violence may increase when a person leaves or has recently left a partner.

Keeping Safe

  • Confide in a friend or family member and agree a password if you are in danger
  • If an argument starts try to stay out of the kitchen, bathroom or garage as these rooms tend to have items that can be used as weapons
  • Plan escape routes from your home and a safe place to go, for example, to a friend's or family member's home
  • Talk to a specialist support agency as they will be able to help you keep as safe as possible if an argument does occur
  • Keep all of your documents together, along with money, an overnight bag, medication and important phone numbers. If possible leave them with a trusted person
  • Dial 999 if in danger.