Victim Services at YWCA St. Joseph wants to help you if you are experiencing an abusive relationship or are concerned for a loved one who may be in a potentially abusive relationship. These relationships may not have outward manifestations, but they could still be abusive. If you are concerned that a relationship is emotionally abusive, here are five indicators of abuse:
Your partner attempts to control you. This might mean limiting your contact with friends or family, insisting they need to know where you are at all times or demanding access to your email or text accounts. They may also take over the kinds of decisions you should be making yourself, such as what you eat or wear.
They make threats. It can be a threat that they’ll hurt themselves, that they’ll report you for your abusive behavior or that they’ll hurt someone you love.
Their anger gets destructive. Have your fights ended in scheduling a home repair? Maybe they punched a hole in the wall or threw a table across the room on a consistent basis. These types of behaviors can cause a victim to backpedal in order to preserve peace – and possessions. If you find that you give in during a fight in order to help your spouse or partner calm down and not become destructive, that can be an indicator of emotional abuse.
Things get twisted. Have you ever gone to your partner with a complaint and found yourself apologizing? Emotional abuse often involves twisting the conversation until you’re on the defensive. If you protest, you’re accused of being too sensitive.
You’re not comfortable. Emotional abuse victims often describe the atmosphere with their partner as “walking on eggshells.” If you feel like much of your attention is focused simply on not upsetting your partner, that’s an indication that you may be experiencing emotional abuse in your relationship.
If any of these indicators bear a resemblance to the reality in your relationship or in a loved one’s life, contact Victim Services at YWCA St. Joseph. While taking the initial step can be difficult and frightening, the team at Victim Services is experienced at helping women make the transition into a better future. We offer a 24-hour crisis hotline, professional counseling, safe housing, specialized children’s programs, support groups, life-skills groups, court advocacy and referrals to other services. Contact us at YWCA St. Joseph for more information.