Ann Silvers, Counselor Counselor, Personal & Relationship Coach Ann Silvers, Gig Harbor Counselor

Warning Signs of Spousal Abuse


These behaviors suggest a controlling relationship:

  • Your partner continually monitors your time and makes you account for every minute (when you run errands, visit friends, commute to work, etc.).
  • Your partner accuses you of having affairs with other men/women or acts suspicious that you are.
  • Your partner is rude to your friends.
  • Your partner calls you names or curses at you.
  • Your partner belittles you for your race, age, gender, education, abilities, or ideas.
  • Your partner humiliates you in private or in public.
  • Your partner discourages you from starting new friendships.
  • Your partner’s apologies are followed with retractions or fault finding: “I’m sorry, but you made me do it because you __________.” “I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t have done it if you hadn’t __________.”
  • You feel isolated and alone, as if there is nobody close to confide in.
  • Your partner tells you that you’ll never “make it” without him/her, or that no one would ever want you.
  • Your partner is overly critical of daily things such as, your appearance, your posture, your income, your accomplishments, etc.
  • Your partner demands a strict account of how you spend money.
  • Your partner has threatened to kick you out, or call the police, your family, your boss, or Social Services, if you disagree or refuse to go along with what she/he wants.
  • Your partner has blocked your freedom of movement, i.e. blocking a doorway, taking your keys, taking your distributor cap, etc.
  • Your partner is disturbed by your working or by the thought of you working.
  • Your partner pressures you for sex much more often than you’d like.
  • Your partner becomes angry if you don’t want to go along with his/her requests for sex.
  • Your partner has threatened to take the kids so that you’ll never see them again.
  • Your partner has played “mind games” or made you think you were crazy.
  • Your partner has treated you like a servant.
  • Your partner has “gotten in your face” (yelling or threatening 2 or 3 inches from your nose) when angry.

These behaviors suggest a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation:

  • Your partner’s moods change radically, from very calm to very angry.
  • Your partner has gotten out weapons (guns, knives, etc.) to look at, to clean, or to play with when you are having an argument.
  • Your partner has physically restrained you.
  • Your partner becomes angry more easily if he/she drinks or uses drugs
  • You have had to leave your home because you were frightened of your partner’s behavior.
  • Your partner blames you for his/her own acts of violence.
  • Your partner has struck you with his/her hands or feet (slap, punch, kick, etc.).
  • Your partner has struck you with an object.
  • Your partner has threatened you with an object or weapon.
  • Your partner has threatened to kill either himself/herself or you.
  • Your partner is obsessed with you, unwilling to let you go.
  • Your partner follows you to work, to school, or repeatedly calls to check on where you are.
  • There are holes in your walls, doors off hinges, or telephones ripped out of the wall.
  • Your partner has given you visible injuries such as welts, bruises, cuts, lumps on the head.
  • You have had to treat with first aid an injury from his/her violence.
  • You have had to seek professional aid at a medical clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital emergency room for an injury caused by your partner.
  • Your partner has hurt you sexually or forced you to have intercourse.
  • Your partner is violent toward children.
  • Your partner has choked you or pulled you by your hair.
  • Your partner has been violent toward people outside your home and family.
  • Your partner has thrown you, or tried to throw you, down, or into a wall, or into a kitchen counter, etc.
  • Your partner has twisted your arm, tripped you, or bit you.
  • Your partner has attacked the sexual parts of your body.
  • Your partner has hurt or threatened to hurt pets.
  • Your partner has intentionally destroyed your property.
  • Your partner throws objects or breaks things when angry.
  • Your partner has been in trouble with the police.
  • Your partner has said that if he/she can’t have you, no one else will.
  • You have called the police or tried to call them because you felt you or other members of your family were in danger.


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