Prevention and Referral Services

Office of Domestic Violence

Program Office

How can you tell if you are being abused?

The most difficult step for you to take is to actually admit that you are being abused by your partner. Yet, admission is the first step necessary in finding your way out of an abusive relationship. How can you tell if you are being abused? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your partner prevent you from seeing your family or friends?
  • Does your partner constantly criticize you and your abilities?
  • Does your partner intimidate or threaten you?
  • Does your partner hit, punch, slap, or kick you?
  • If you have a gun in your home, has your partner ever threatened to use it?
  • Has your partner ever prevented you from leaving the house, getting a job, or continuing your education?
  • Has your partner ever destroyed things that you cared about?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to have sex or forced you to engage in sex that makes you feel uncomfortable?
  • If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should seek professional help because you may be in an abusive relationship. Millions of women are struggling with similar difficulties. Perhaps you and your partner can work through these problems. But if you feel you are in danger, you owe it to yourself to seek help and support.