Domestic Violence

Frequently the victim is given and accepts the blame for the abuse. If the abuse is verbal, mental, or emotional as opposed to physical, it is incredibly easy to minimize away by saying "I didn't hit him/her." Rather than simply pondering the rather nebulous question of "Am I or am I not in an abusive relationship?" it is often helpful to look at some specific questions that can bring the abuse to light more subtly by getting past the minimizing, rationalizing, and justifying. Try these for starters:

1. Are you afraid of your partner?

2. Do you feel like you have to walk on pins and needles sometimes to keep your partner from getting angry?

3. Has your partner ever hit, slapped, or pushed you?

4. Do you ever feel like you deserve to be punished?

5. Do you ever feel like you've done something wrong but you just can't figure out what it is?

6. Have you lost all respect or love for your partner?

7. Is your partner very good to you most of the time -- sometimes downright wonderful, but every once in a while very cruel or scary?

8. Does your partner drive you crazy or make you feel like you're going crazy?

9. Do you find yourself sometimes thinking of ways of killing your partner?

10. Have you believed that your partner would kill you?

11. Have you been told by your partner that he or she would kill you?

12. Has your partner threatened to commit suicide?

13. Were you abused as a child?

14. Have you been forced by your partner to do something you didn't want to do?

15. Have you lost all or most of your friends since you've been with your partner?

16. Do you feel isolated, like there's nowhere to turn for help, and that no one would believe you anyway?

17. Have you lost a job because of your partner?

18. Do you feel emotionally numb?

19. Do you feel like you have to say that you're doing okay even when you really aren't?

20. Are you afraid to tell anybody about what's going on in your life because you don't want your partner to get in trouble or go to jail?

21. Have you ever been in a relationship where you could have answered yes to these questions, but right now you're past all that? Did you see yourself or a friend in that?

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