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Signs of an abusive relationship

Signs of an abusive relationship

It is not always easy to identify if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or is in an abusive relationship. Violence and abuse are experienced in many different ways. Violence and abuse can include emotional abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse. Read more about the different types of abuse.

Jealousy, possessiveness, put downs, threats and violence

Below is a list of signs of abuse. These behaviours are typical of the jealousy, possessiveness, put downs, threats and violence that occur in domestic violence and abusive relationships. A woman may be experiencing abuse if a man in her life:

  • unfairly and regularly accuses her of flirting or being unfaithful
  • controls how she spends money
  • decides what she wears or eats
  • humiliates her in front of other people
  • monitors what she is doing, including reading her emails and text messages
  • discourages or prevents her from seeing friends and family
  • threatens to hurt her, the children or pets
  • physically assaults her (hitting, biting, slapping, kicking, pushing)
  • yells at her
  • threatens to use a weapon against her
  • decides what she uses for birth control
  • forces her to have an abortion or to continue a pregnancy
  • constantly compares her with other people
  • constantly criticises her intelligence, mental health and appearance
  • prevents her from practicing her religion.

What to do if you are in an abusive relationship

If you are in an abusive relationship, you can find help now.

How to support someone you know

Here are some ways you can support someone you know who has told you they are experiencing or have experienced violence:

  • believe the person
  • make sure they understand it is not their fault
  • listen without judging
  • be supportive, encouraging, open and honest
  • ask if they need help from a support service¬†and discuss their options
  • help them get advice and support by calling 1800RESPECT or visiting their website
  • offer to go with the person if they meet with a support service
  • keep in touch with the person to see how they are going.

Note that you may be required by law to report disclosures of violence when children are involved. Check with your state/territory police for more information on your obligations.

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