Anyone can be an abuser. While most abusers are men it is important to remember that women can be abusers too. Avalon does not provide direct services for abusers, but it is important for an abuser to understand that there are steps they can take to defuse a volatile situation and get help.
Red Flags/Warning Signs
There are warning signs that can help you identify an abusive relationship before things get out of control. Answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.
- Feel afraid of your partner?
- Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
- Feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
- Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
- Feel emotionally numb or helpless?
Does your partner:
- Humiliate, criticize, or yell at you?
- Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children?
- Criticize you for little things?
- Act excessively jealous and possessive?
- Control where you go or what you do?
- Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
- Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
- Constantly check up on you?
- Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
- Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
- Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
- Force you to have sex?
- Destroy your belongings or sentimental items?
- Threaten to “out” you at work or to family or friends?
If you think someone you know might be an abuser, speak up. If you don’t, your silence is the same as saying abuse is okay. They could hurt someone. Because you care, you need to do something … before it is too late. You can:
- Draw attention to it -“Did you mean to be so rough? That’s not okay.”
- Tell them what you think - “I am surprised to see you act that way. You’re better than that.” or “I care about you, but I won’t tolerate it if you abuse them.”
- Express ideas about loving behavior - “Loving them doesn’t mean abusing them.” or “Kids learn from their parents. Is this how you want your kids to treat their partners some day? How would you feel if your kids chose someone who acted like this?”
- If their behavior is criminal, tell them - “You could end up in jail if you don’t find another way to deal with your problems. Then what would happen to you and your family?”