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Most relationships have difficult times and almost every couple argues now and then. But violence is much different from common marital or relationship problems. Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse used to control the behavior of another.

Domestic violence often starts with threats, name-calling, slamming doors or breaking dishes and it can build up to pushing, slapping and other violent or verbal acts.

If you are concerned about your relationship

or that of someone else, ask yourself the following


Embarrass you with put-downs?

Look at you or act in ways that scare you?

Control what you do, who you see or

talk to, or where you go?

Stop you from seeing your friends or family?

Take your money or paycheck?

Make you ask for money, refuse to give you money?

Make all of the decisions?

Tell you that you're a bad parent

Threaten to take away or hurt your children?

Threaten to commit suicide?

Prevent you from working or going to school?

Act like the abuse is no big deal or is your fault?

Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?

Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?

Shove you, slap you, choke you or hit you?

Threaten to kill you?



  • Having low self-esteem or being extremely apologetic.
  • Referring to the partner's temper but not disclosing the extent of the abuse.
  • Having a drug or alcohol abuse problem.
  • Having symptoms of depression, such as sadness or hopelessness, or loss of interest in daily activities.
  • Talking about suicide, attempting suicide, or showing other warning signs of suicide.
  • Bruises or injuries that look like they came from choking, punching, or being thrown down.
  • Black eyes, red or purple marks on neck, sprained wrists are all injuries in violent relationships.
  • Attempting to hide bruises with makeup or clothing.
  • Making excuses injuries caused by tripping or being accident-prone or clumsy.
  • Having few close friends and being isolated from relatives, coworkers and kept from making friends.
  • Having to ask permission to meet, talk with, or do things with other people.

If any of these things or other types of abuse

are happening, you need to seek help.

It's important to know that you are not alone.

Help is available.

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