Domestic abuse can show itself in many different forms. Not every form of domestic abuse is physically violent or very apparent. No one should ever be afraid of their partner for any reason. If you feel like you are being abused in any way by your partner, you should trust your gut because you are likely right. Let’s take a look at five tell-tale signs of domestic abuse.

Firstly, your partner should never bully, threaten or control you. This can occur in a variety of ways. Some abusers will become paranoid and accuse their partners of cheating or having an affair, and use that as a right to monitor their phone and computer. An abuser also might try to criticize or control what their partner wears and threaten them if they do not comply. Along with this, abusers will often try to control the money in the relationship. Your partner should never keep cash or credit cards from you. They also should not question every dollar you spend or attempt to put in place an allowance for you.

Sometimes, an abuser exerts control in more subtle ways. They will try to cut you off from your family and friends. You should never need permission from your partner to see your loved ones, nor should they keep close tabs on what you are doing at all times of the day. If your partner taunts or embarrasses you in front of others and makes you want to stay away from people, that is also a way of isolating you, which is abuse. Physical abuse can also come in many forms. Your partner should try to prohibit you from sleeping, eating, or seeking medical attention. They also should never lock you in or out of the house or abandon you at an unfamiliar place. Also: kicking, hitting, biting, or pulling hair are blatant forms of domestic abuse and should be reported to the proper authorities. 

Lastly, your partner should absolutely never sexually abuse you in any way. This includes forcing you to participate in sexual behaviors you do not want to participate in, forcing you to dress sexually, or try to convince you that you owe them sexual favors. They also are not at liberty to control your condom or birth control usage. These are all forms of sexual violence and domestic abuse.