What is Abuse? – A Warning List | Patti Austin Official Website

What is Abuse? – A Warning List

By on Friday, July 10th, 2009 in Blog

Many people who are being abused do not see themselves as victims. Victims are perceived to be weak and helpless individuals, thus making it difficult for the abused to identify themselves with the term. Also, abusers do not see themselves as being abusive. They have a perverse notion of being right in what they are doing. People often think of domestic violence as physical violence, such as hitting. However, domestic violence takes many forms. Psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse are forms of domestic violence if they are performed to control his partner.

Domestic violence is about one person in a relationship using a pattern of behaviors to control the other person. It can happen to people who are married or not married. It does not only happen to heterosexual relationships. Gays and lesbians can be victimized as well. You can be abused even if you are only living together or dating or even if you are already separated.

If your partner repeatedly uses one or more of the following to control you;

  • pushing, hitting, slapping, choking, kicking, or biting
  • harms you physically even if you are incapacitated
  • pusing household items as weapons to threaten and hurt you
  • Depriving you of food, sleep, medicines, etc.
  • Imprisoning you at your own house
  • disabling you by inflicting serious injury to further isolate you from society
  • keeping you from seeing your friends, family or from going to work
  • act possessive
  • threatening you, your children, other family members or pets
  • threaten to take your children away from you
  • battering the children too
  • threatening suicide to get you to do something
  • using or threatening to use a weapon such as firearms and knives against you
  • keeping or taking your paycheck
  • making you economically dependent by controlling both personal and joint bank accounts
  • puts you down or makes you feel bad
  • pick fights by criticizing you
  • makes you question your mental capacity and sense of self-worth
  • destroy your personal belongings
  • claims to forget the instances wherein he was abusive
  • humiliates you in public and in private
  • limits your social interactions
  • monitors all of your activities
  • alienates you from your family and friends
  • disfigures you to keep you away from everyone
  • threatens committing suicide to get his way
  • reinforces the patriarchal system in an absolute way
  • demean your heritage, culture, profession and gender
  • uses his own stature and gender to yield control
  • insults and ignores your contributions and feelings
  • name calling
  • blames you for all of his faults and shortcomings
  • controls even your minor decisions
  • demands all of your time and attention
  • threatens to leave you
  • threatens to hurt you physically
  • denies their abusive behavior*
  • questions your mental ability
  • makes crude sexual jokes
  • treats you like a sex object
  • makes undignified remarks towards your sex or sexual orientation
  • ignores your own sexual needs
  • touching you in intimate areas though it is unwanted
  • justifies his behavior of forcing sexual intercourse as his right
  • forces you to expose yourself to pornographic materials
  • forces you to perform sexual acts that are demeaning
  • forcing you to have sex or to do sexual acts you do not want or like


Remember threatened or actual physical violence may be illegal. Consider calling the police for help.

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