Check this list of warning signs to help answer the question: Am I Safe? These behaviors may indicate that you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship.
Are you with someone who…
• is jealous and possessive toward you, won’t let you have friends or family contact, checks up on you constantly via phone, email, or in person, won´t accept breaking up?
• tries to control you by being very bossy, giving orders, making all the decisions, without taking your opinion seriously?
• puts you down, critical of whatever you do, and undermines everything you say?
• is scary to the extent that you worry about how they will react to things you say or do?
• threatens you, uses or owns weapons?
• is violent and has a history of fighting, loses temper quickly, and brags about mistreating others?
• pressures you for sex, is forceful or scary with regard to sex?
• thinks of you as a sex object?
• attempts to manipulate or guilt-trip you by saying “If you really loved me you would…”
• gets too serious about the relationship too fast?
• abuses drugs or alcohol and pressures you to take them?
• blames you when they mistreat you by saying you provoked them, pressed their buttons, made them do it, led them on?
• has a history of bad relationships and blames the other person for all the problems?
• believes that men should be in control and powerful and that women should be passive and submissive?
• has hit, pushed, choked, restrained, kicked, or physically abused you?
• your family and friends have warned you about and told you they were worried for you safety?
• if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, has threatened to ‘out’ you to family, friends, or your work if you don’t comply with certain demands?
• if you are an immigrant, has threatened or tried to turn you in to authorities and get you deported? or has told you that you are endangering the community?
• if you are older, has threatened to put you in a nursing home or interfered with your ability to get out of the house when you want?
• if you have health problems, has prevented you from getting treatment, interfered with medication or made it difficult for you to get to medical appointments?
If you answered “YES” to any of these questions about yourself or someone you know, help is available you may be at risk of abuse. You can call an advocate at a local program or contact any of the following people if you feel safe doing so.
• the staff at a domestic violence or sexual assault program
• a police officer
• a member of your family
• a teacher or school counselor
• your friends or their parents
• your priest, minister, imam or rabbi
• a doctor or nurse
• people in court- the district attorney or victim witness advocate
• another adult you trust
If you need help now call the police at 9-1-1.
You can talk to a domestic violence advocate in MA by calling SafeLink at 1-877-785-2020 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
No one deserves to be abused. You can find help and support for yourself. Remember that you are the expert about your own life. Don’t let anyone talk you into doing something that’s not right for you.