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Symptoms of Abuse - Threats, Power Misuse, and Control

What symptoms below fit your life?

Using Emotional Abuse

  • Putting the other person down
  • Making the other person feel bad about themselves
  • Calling the other person names
  • Making the other person think they are crazy
  • Playing mind games
  • Humiliating the other person
  • Making the other person feel guilty

Using Privileges

  • Treating the other person like a servant
  • Making all the big decisions
  • Acting like the master of the castle
  • Being the one who determines the roles

Using Economic Abuse

  • Preventing the other person from getting or keeping a job
  • Making the other person ask for money
  • Giving the other person an allowance
  • Taking the other person's money
  • Not letting the other person know about or have access to family income

Using Coercion and Threats

  • Making or carrying out threats to do something to hurt the other person
  • Threatening to leave the other person, to commit suicide, report the other person to welfare
  • Making the other person drop charges
  • Making the other person do illegal things

Using Intimidation

  • Making the other person afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions
  • Smashing things
  • Abusing pets
  • Displaying weapons

Using Children

  • Making the other person feel guilty about the children
  • Using the children to relay messages
  • Using visitation to harass the other person
  • Threatening to take the children away

Using Isolation

  • Controlling what the other person does, who they see and talk to, what's read, and where they go
  • Limiting their outside involvement
  • Using jealousy to justify actions

Minimizing, Denying, Blaming

  • Making light of the abuse and not taking the other person's concerns about it seriously
  • Saying the abuse never happened
  • Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior
  • Saying the other person caused it


Does your partner:

  • Blame everyone else especially you, for his or her mistakes?
    Yes___ No___
  • Prevent you from seeing your family or friends?
    Yes___ No___
  • Curse you, say mean things, mock you or humiliate you?
    Yes___ No___
  • Force you to have sex or force you to engage in sex that makes you feel uncomfortable?
    Yes___ No___
  • Restrain, hit, punch, slap, or kick you?
    Yes___ No___
  • Intimidate or threaten you?
    Yes___ No___
  • Ever prevent you from leaving the house, getting a job, or continuing your education?
    Yes___ No___

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. The Domestic Violence Division of the Metropolitan Police Department can assist you in obtaining warrants, orders of protection and counseling.

Next: Response and Follow-up by responding Police Officers


Call Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and ask to speak with a counselor.