Restored - Ending Violence Against Women

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Recognising Domestic Abuse

The following information is taken from the Women's Aid website, www.womensaid.org.uk, and is protected by copyright to Women's Aid Federation of England (© 2010 Women's Aid Federation of England).

Everyone has arguments, and everyone disagrees with their partners, family members and others close to them from time to time. And we all do things at times that we regret, and which cause unhappiness to those we care about. But if this begins to form a consistent pattern, then it is an indication of domestic violence. The following questions may help you:

  • Has your partner tried to keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • Has your partner prevented you from continuing or starting a college course, or from going to work?
  • Does your partner constantly check up on you or follow you?
  • Does your partner unjustly accuse you of flirting or of having affairs with others?
  • Does your partner constantly belittle or humiliate you, or regularly criticise or insult you in front of other people?
  • Are you ever afraid of your partner?
  • Have you ever changed your behaviour because you are afraid of what your partner might do or say to you?
  • Has your partner ever destroyed any of your possessions deliberately?
  • Has your partner ever hurt or threatened you or your children?
  • Has your partner ever kept you short of money so you are unable to buy food and other necessary items for yourself and your children?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to do something that you really did not want to do?
  • Has your partner ever tried to prevent you from taking necessary medication, or seeking medical help when you felt you needed it?
  • Has your partner ever tried to control you by telling you you could be deported because of your immigration status?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to take your children away, or said he would refuse to let you take them with you, or even to see them, if you left him?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to have sex with him or with other people? Has he made you participate in sexual activities that you were uncomfortable with?
  • Has your partner ever tried to prevent your leaving the house?
  • Does your partner blame his use of alcohol or drugs for his behaviour?
  • Does your partner control your use of alcohol or drugs (for example, by forcing your intake or by withholding substances)?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, this indicates that you may be experiencing domestic violence.