Warning Signs for Domestic Violence

The following list identifies behaviors typically demonstrated by batterers. All of these forms of abuse- psychological, economic and physical - come form the batterer's desire for power and control. The list can help you recognize if you or someone you know is in a violent relationship.

Emotional and Economic Attacks

Verbal Attacks: Name calling; mocking; accusing; blaming; yelling; making humiliating remarks.

Emotional Abuse: Not expressing feelings; not giving support, attention or compliments; not respecting feelings, rights, or opinions.

Disrespect: Interrupting; changing topics; not listening or responding; twisting your words; putting you down in front of other people; saying bad things about your family and friends.

Minimizing: Not taking your concerns seriously; saying the abuse didn't happen; shifting responsibility for abusive behavior; saying you caused it.

Breaking Promises: Not following through on agreements; not taking a fair share of responsibility; refusing to help with child care or housework.

Abusing Trust: Lying; withholding information; cheating on you; being overly jealous.

Pressure Tactics: Sulking; threatening to withhold money; manipulating the children; telling you what to do.

Abusing Authority: Always claiming to be right; bossing you around; making all the decisions.

Economic Control: Interfering with your work or not letting you work; refusing to give you any money; taking your money; taking your car keys or otherwise preventing you from using your car; threatening to report you to welfare or other social service agencies like the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Isolation: Preventing or making it difficult for you to see friends or relatives; monitoring phone calls; telling you where you can or cannot go.

Harassment: Making uninvited visits or calls; following you; checking up on you; embarrassing you in public.

Self-Destructive Behavior: Abusing drugs or alcohol; threatening suicide or displaying other forms of self-harm; deliberately saying or doing things that will have negative consequences.


Acts of Violence

Intimidation: Making angry or threatening gestures; use of physical size to intimidate; out shouting you; driving recklessly.

Destruction: Destroying your possessions; punching walls; throwing and/or breaking things.

Threats: Making or carrying out threats to hurt you or others.

Sexual Violence: Degrading treatment based on your sex; using force; threats or coercion to obtain sex; making you perform sexual acts you are uncomfortable with.

Physical Violence: Being violent to you, your children, household pets or others. Slapping; punching; grabbing; kicking; choking; pushing; biting; burning; stabbing etc.

Weapons: Use of weapons; keeping weapons around that frighten you; threatening or attempting to kill you or those you love.