1-800-585-2686 (24/7/365) info@merrymanhouse.org

The Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Does your partner control your social life and your finances? Does he or she humiliate you in front of your family or friends?  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Whether you’re in a harmful relationship or you’re worrying about a friend, it pays to know the warning signs of domestic violence.

Potential Characteristics of an Abuser

  • Physically harms you (e.g., hitting, punching, pushing)
  • Acts extremely jealous
  • Accuses the victim of cheating
  • Has a bad temper
  • Controls the finances
  • Acts possessive and cuts off contact with others
  • Prohibits you from working or attending school
  • Belittles you in public and at home
  • Bothers you at work
  • Controls your wardrobe and behavior
  • Is verbally abusive
  • Hurts animals
  • Abuses other members of the family, including children and pets
  • Forces sex
  • Refuses to cooperate with birth control methods
  • Pressures you to get pregnant
  • Monitors your phone, email, or social networks
  • Blames drugs, alcohol—or even you—for their outbursts
  • Destroys your possessions
  • Threatens to report you to the police for fake crimes

Characteristics of an Abuser in a Same-Sex Relationship
(in addition to those above) 

  • Threatens to “out” the victim against his or her will
  • Claims that women can’t be violent
  • Claims that men are naturally violent
  • Forces the victim to prove their sexual orientation with nonconsensual sex acts
  • Claims the police won’t help the victim due to their sexual identity

If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship, please call the Merryman House at 1-800-585-2686. We may be able to offer you emergency shelter, but it that’s not needed, we can also provide non-residential services like access to advocacy specialists, economic empowerment, support groups and therapy.

You can overcome domestic violence. Speak up and speak out.