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The following is a checklist of warning signals that will identify if you are in an abusive relationship.  Answering yes to any of them may alert you to the level of danger in your situation. Whether the violence or abuse has happened once or many times, you are at risk.  These behaviours indicate your partner is choosing to use a system of power and control over you.

Emotional abuse

  • Does he call you names or make you feel bad about the way you look?
  • Does he verbally degrade your self-worth by constantly putting you down?

Physical abuse

  • Has he ever pushed, shoved, slapped, pinched, punched or physically hurt you?
  • Does he have a history of using violence with others?

Using male privilege

  • Does he always see himself as superior or always right?
  • Does he treat you like a possession that can be owned?
  • Does he insist on making all the big decisions?

Using coercion and threats

  • Does he use force or coercion to make you do things against your will?
  • Has he threatened to hurt the children, friends, family members or pets?
  • Has he threatened to report you to Centrelink, the Taxation Department or others?
  • Has he ever threatened to leave you?
  • Has he Insisted you dress more or less sexually than you want?

Using isolation

  • Does he try to control your contact with your family and friends?
  • Does he need to know where you are constantly?
  • Does he insist that you are always at home or only let you out of the house if he is with you or insist on knowing where you are going?
  • Does he monitor or limit your phone calls, conversations and emails?
  • Does he check the mileage on the car to see if he can work out where you have been or who you have seen?

Sexual abuse

  • Does he pressure you to have sex which is unpleasant, pressured or forced?
  • Has he made you do something very humiliating or degrading?
  • Has he made you have sex after emotional or physical abuse or when you are sick?

Minimising, denying and blaming

  • Does he blame you for his anger and violence, saying it was your fault?
  • Does he say that you were "asking for it" after physically hitting or abusing you?
  • Does he deny using violence or say it wasn't that bad?

Using Intimidation

  • Does he smash your belongings or break things around the house?
  • Has he ever punched holes in the walls or doors?
  • Is he easily angered and prone to sudden mood swings?
  • Does your talking to members of the opposite sex result in unfounded jealousy and suspicion that is out of proportion?

Economic abuse

  • Has she taken away your money or controlled how you spend it?
  • Has he refused to pay the household bills or to give any money towards them?

Using the children

  • Has he told you that you would lose custody or never see the children again?
  • Does he question the children to find out information about you?
If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions then domestic violence is happening in your relationship.  Regardless of whether physical abuse has occurred or not, you are being abused and your safety could be at risk. 

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