Signs of Abuse

What is Woman Abuse?

Woman abuse is any threat, act or physical force that is used to create fear, control or intimidate you.

If you feel unsafe and are experiencing any of these forms of abuse, you live with violence.

Violence against women can take many forms. It is most commonly divided into the following types:

Physical violence
The most obvious ranges from pushing and shoving to hitting, beating, physical abuse with a weapon, torture, mutilation and murder.

Emotional/Psychological violence
Encompasses various tactics to undermine an individual’s self-confidence, such as yelling, not letting you see your friends or family, insults, mockeries, threats, abusive language, humiliation, harassment, contempt, deliberate deprivation of emotional care or isolation.

Sexual violence
Any form of non-consensual sexual activity (i. e. forced on an individual) ranging from harassment, unwanted sexual touching, to rape. This form of violence also includes incest.

Financial violence
Encompasses various tactics for total or partial control of an individual’s finances, inheritance or employment income. It may include denying access to money or one’s own financial records and knowledge about personal investments, income or debt, or preventing a partner from taking employment outside the home, or engaging in other activity that would lead to financial independence.

Includes failure to provide for an individual’s basic needs and human rights, and the refusal or delay in the provision of food or medical care.


How do I Know if I’m Abused? 

There are many ways to tell if you are being abused:

Trusting your own instincts is a good start.

Often women speak about a combination of signs – feelings and ways of acting. Think about the questions below and which of them apply to you. If your own feelings are similar to what you see here, you may be in an abusive relationship.

Ask yourself whether you:
• Feel as though like you have to “walk on eggshells” to keep your partner from getting angry?
• Are frightened by your partner’s temper?
• Feel you should stop seeing other friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because your partner doesn’t like them?
• Are afraid to tell your partner your worries and feelings about the relationship
• Feel you should do what your partner tells you to do because you are afraid to hurt their feelings; and have the urge to “rescue” your partner when he or she is troubled?
• Are the only one who can help your partner and that you should try to “reform” him or her?

Consider whether you believe:
• You must stay because you feel your partner will harm himself/herself if you leave?
• Jealousy is a sign of love?
• The critical things your partner says to make you feel bad about yourself?
• There is something wrong with you if you don’t enjoy the sexual things your partner makes you do?
• In the traditional ideas of what a man and a woman should be and do — that the man makes the decisions and the woman pleases him?

Have you:

• Found yourself making excuses to yourself or others for your partner’s behaviour when you are treated badly?
• Stopped expressing opinions if your partner doesn’t agree with them?
• Been kicked, hit, shoved, or had things thrown at you by your partner out of jealousy or anger?

If you are suffering from any of these signs of abuse please don’t hesitate to contact the Women’s Centre. We’re available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.