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How to Know if You Are Being Abused


Broken Vase
Photo: Flying Colours Ltd / Digital Vision / Getty Images
Domestic violence occurs when your dominating spouse, through emotional or physical abuse, creates an environment of fear that prevents you from freely choosing how to live your life.

Here are questions to ask yourself to determine if you are being abused.

Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Does your spouse scare you and make you feel fearful?

  2. Has your spouse threatened to kill you?

  3. Do you think you can never do anything right or please your spouse?

  4. Have you ever been hit, pushed, choked, had your hair pulled, or been slapped by your spouse?

  5. Does your spouse yell at you or tell you that you are worthless or no good?

  6. Do you believe you have to tip-toe around your spouse to prevent an outburst of anger?

  7. Does your spouse try to limit the amount of time you spend with friends and family or on the phone or Internet?

  8. Does your spouse make you do things you don't want to do?

  9. Have family or friends expressed their concern about your relationship?

  10. Are your children afraid of your spouse?

  11. Do you believe you deserve the abusive treatment you receive?

  12. Do you realize you are abused but don't know where to get help?


  1. If you answered yes to several of these questions, please contact your local domestic abuse shelter. They can help you determine your options and will assist you in finding a safe place to stay while you sort things out.

  2. Make an emergency kit that you can easily grab. It should have money, checkbook, credit cards, health records, school information, birth & marriage certificates, driver's license, social security numbers, house & car keys.

  3. Do not tolerate abusive behavior from your spouse. It won't go away by denying it. The situation will only grow worse. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.

  4. Another source of help is the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TTY). Help is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

What You Need

  • Honest Self Appraisal
  • Courage to Seek Help
  • Belief in Your Own Self Worth
  • Understanding of Why You May Stay in an Abusive Relationship

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