Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you. Abuse happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships.
It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels.
When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence.But domestic abuse occurs whenever one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person.Dating abuse is a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner.While we define dating violence as a pattern, that doesn’t mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence.No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive.
Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, you can get the help you need. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused—especially verbally and emotionally.The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence.Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you.An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb.And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe.