Relationships: Signs of Abusive Relationship and What to Do

Relationships could go through rocky phases, and it could be difficult to assess the situation that you are in and figure out if the relationship is abusive. So what does abusive relationship involve, and what should you do if you find yourself in one?

What is an abusive relationship?

Relationship abuse is defined by stoprelationshipabuse as “a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner.” Abusive relationship not only includes physical abuse, but also emotional, sexual and even financial.

Signs of abusive relationship

According to ReachOut, Helpguide and YourTango, signs of abusive relationship include:

  • Possessiveness and controlling
    • Constant calling or texting when not with him/her
    • Isolating from family and friends
    • Controlling where the partner goes or what the partner does
    • Limiting access/control to one’s own money or cards
  • Put-downs
    • Humiliating or embarrassing in public/private
    • Constant criticism
    • Perpetual comparison with others
    • Putting the blame on the partner for their own behaviour
    • Invalidating/refusing to acknowledge one’s opinion or achievement
    • Making mean jokes
  • Violence and threats
    • Using violence or threating to use violence against partner, family, friends or pets
    • Threatening to commit suicide
    • Guilt tripping into doing certain activities
    • Saying “If you don’t _____, I will_____”
    • Destroying partner’s belongings

What to do?

If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, you have right to leave the relationship. The situation is not your fault or responsibility – being abusive is the choice of the abuser. Take a distance away from your partner. Talk to people you trust, be it family members or friends, and if necessary, ask whether you can stay with them for the time being.

If needed, contact the police and/or find out about your legal rights relating to the abuse.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact The National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line at 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or check this website for state helpline directory. In immediate danger, call 000.