What is Abuse?
Sometimes it is hard and confusing to admit that you are in an abusive relationship, or to find a way out. There are clear signs to help you know if you are being abused. If the person you love or live with does any of these things to you, it's time to get help:
- monitors what you're doing all the time
- criticizes you for little things
- constantly accuses you of being unfaithful
- prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family, or going to work or school
- gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs
- controls how you spend your money
- controls your use of needed medicines
- humiliates you in front of others
- destroys your property or things that you care about
- threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets, or does hurt you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
- uses or threatens to use a weapon against you
- forces you to have sex against your will
- blames you for his or her violent outbursts
If you're a victim of abuse or violence at the hands of someone you know or love or you are recovering from an assault by a stranger, you are not alone. Get immediate help and support.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TTY). Spanish speakers are available. When you call, you will first hear a recording and may have to hold. Hotline staff offer crisis intervention and referrals. If requested, they connect women to shelters and can send out written information.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-656-4673. When you call, you will hear a menu and can choose #1 to talk to a counselor. You will then be connected to a counselor in your area who can help you. You can also visit the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.
Content last updated September 1, 2007.