Signs of Abuse/Red Flags
- Feel afraid of your partner?
- Feel that you can’t do anything right?
- Get embarrassed by your partner’s behavior toward you?
- Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
- Avoid topics or situations out of fear of angering your partner?
Does your partner…
- Humiliate, criticize or yell at you?
- Blame you for his/her behavior?
- Threaten to hurt you?
- Threaten to take your children away?
- Threaten to harm your children or pets?
- Force you to have sex?
- Act jealous or possessive?
- Keep you from seeing friends and family?
- Limit your access to money or necessities?
- Keep you from getting a job or going to school?
- Constantly check up on you?
- Threaten to kill or hurt him/herself if you leave?
Does your friend or loved one…
- Have frequent injuries resulting from “accidents”?
- Frequently or suddenly miss work, school or cancel plans?
- Receive frequent calls/texts from their partner?
- Fear their partner or defer to a partner’s rages or behavior?
- Lack assertiveness or have submissive behavior?
- Isolate from friends and family?
- Have insufficient resources to live (money, credit cards, car)?
How to Help
Most often, a survivor of domestic violence or dating violence will seek help from their support network, including friends, family or co-workers. The manner in which you respond can have a power affect on the survivor’s life and decision to seek further help. Remember, you cannot force someone to leave their abuser. While you can help someone leave a violent relationship, it is ultimately his/her choice to change his/her life and future. Please recognize that the decision to leave an abusive relationship is not easy and the survivor will need your love and support to do so.
If a survivor reaches out to you…
- Try to remain supportive and non-judgmental
- Let them know you believe them and want to hear about their experience
- Allow them to tell their story
- Let them know you care about and are concerned for their safety
- Support their right to be angry
- Don’t deny any of their feelings
- Respect the cultural values and beliefs that affect their behavior
- Help them assess their resources and support system
- Maintain contact with them. Physical and psychological isolation are powerful control tactics used by batterers.
- Avoid “you” statements, such as “you should”. Instead use “I” statements, such as “I’m concerned.”
- Offer them phone numbers for local resources. Call Hope’s Door’s 24-hour hotline (972-422-7233) for information on our services and local resources.
- Let them know that they are not alone, it is not their fault and that help is available.