Am i a victim of domestic abuse

Why Do People Abuse | The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Domestic violence stems from a desire to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abusive people believe they have the right to control and restrict their partner’s lives, often either because they believe their own feelings and needs should be the priority in the relationship, or because they enjoy exerting the power that such abuse gives them.

Tactics of abuse (in any form) may be aimed at dismantling equality in the relationship in order to make their partners feel less valuable and undeserving of respect.

Remember that everyone deserves to have a healthy, loving, and respectful relationship—no matter what.

Abuse is a learned behavior. Some people witness it in their own families growing up; others learn it slowly from friends, popular culture, or structural inequities throughout our society. No matter where they develop such behaviors, those who commit abusive acts make a choice in doing so — they also could choose not to.

There are many people who experience or witness abuse who use their experiences to end the cycle of violence and heal themselves without harming others. While outside factors (including drug or alcohol addiction) can escalate abuse, it’s important to recognize that these issues do not cause domestic abuse themselves.

Who does abuse affect?

Anyone can be abusive and anyone can be the victim of abuse. Abuse happens regardless of gender, age, sexuality, race, economic status, ability, citizenship status, or any other factor or identity. Feelings of confusion, fear, or anger are normal responses to abuse, but they may also make you feel isolated or like no one will understand. Remember that expert advocates from The Hotline are available 24/7 to talk through your situation and help you build a safety plan tailored to your circumstances.

Being abusive is a decision: it’s a strategic behavior by your partner to create their desired power dynamic.

Regardless of the circumstances of your relationship or past, no one ever deserves to be abused and you’re never responsible for your partner’s abusive actions.

Domestic violence can also strain the people who witness, intervene, or simply recognize the tragic realities of relationship abuse. It can be painful and draining — physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially — to watch the people in our lives abuse or be abused. In that regard, we are all impacted by any and all forms of abuse, and it’s on each of us to take steps in our daily interactions to end and prevent future abusive behavior.

a quote mark icon

Beyond the physical risks of leaving an abusive relationship, there are countless other reasons why people stay in their relationships. Survivors deserve to be supported in their decision-making and empowered to reclaim control over their own lives—no matter the circumstances.

Emotional Abuse Test: Am I In an Abusive Relationship?

Relationship abuse isn’t always easy to spot — even if you’re in the relationship.

While physical violence is the first thing to come to many people’s minds, abuse often involves other types of maltreatment. Sometimes it’s subtle manipulation, cruel words, giving the “silent treatment,” or taking extreme control of the finances.

Recognizing abuse when you see it is the first step toward helping yourself or someone you love stay safe.

Relationship abuse, or intimate partner violence (IPV), is quite common, affecting more than 10 million people per year in the United States.

In many cases, IPV falls under the umbrella of domestic violence, which is any violence within a family unit. However, IPV can also happen among couples who are not living together.

IPV may involve emotional or psychological aggression, physical or sexual violence, financial abuse, or stalking behaviors.

The frequency and severity of abuse in relationships can vary widely from occasional instances to daily maltreatment. A common thread among all cases is the abusive person’s attempts to control their partner.

There are several types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse. Physical abuse involves intentional bodily harm. This could include slapping, punching, choking, kicking, pinching, shoving, forcing drugs, or physically restraining a partner against their will.
  • Emotional abuse. Emotional or verbal abuse involves cruel words or attitudes meant to control, demean, or punish in some way. (eg. calling a partner worthless or stupid, or giving the “silent treatment”) Research shows that emotional abuse may be a contributing factor to the development or severity of illnesses, such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Psychological abuse. Psychological or mental abuse involves the slow wearing down of a person’s sense of self over time, and may even make them doubt their sanity. Gaslighting falls under this type of abuse.
  • Sexual abuse. This involves any type of sexual assault, rape, or the weaponizing of sex.
  • Financial abuse. This involves the controlling of money so the partner is unable to have or spend money without the other’s permission.

What motivates abusers to control?

Research suggests there are several reasons why abusers attempt to control their partners:

  • jealousy
  • anger problems
  • feeling inferior
  • poor self-esteem
  • cultural beliefs they have the right to control their partner
  • personality or mental health disorder
  • learned behavior from growing up in an environment where IPV was accepted
  • alcohol and drug use

In general, abusive behaviors are those that intend to:

  • harm
  • control
  • intimidate
  • threaten
  • humiliate
  • manipulate
  • degrade
  • blame
  • harass
  • isolate partner from others

Signs of relationship abuse

IPV can be difficult to identify. There are many things a partner can do to act in an abusive manner. These are some of the more common ones.

Does your partner…

  • blame you for how they act or feel?
  • say that you’d be nothing without them?
  • make you feel like there’s no way out of the relationship?
  • blame alcohol or drugs for their behavior?
  • act extremely jealous or possessive?
  • call you numerous times to make sure you’re where you said you’d be?
  • say cruel things to you or call you names?
  • intimidate or threaten you to get what they want?
  • embarrass you in front of your friends and family?
  • make you feel like you can’t take care of yourself or make decisions?
  • pressure you into sex?
  • minimize or make fun of your accomplishments?
  • prevent you from doing what you want?
  • keep you separated from your family and friends?
  • control all the money?
  • interrogate you about where you’ve been?
  • threaten you with violence?
  • treat you in a rough way: push, grab, shove, or hit you?

This brief, time-saving questionnaire is designed for anyone looking to find out whether they may be in an abusive relationship.

If you’re in a domestic violence situation, knowing the signs can help you navigate the situation.

Even if it’s not a domestic violence situation, a mental health professional can help if you’re having trouble with conflict resolution and establishing healthy relationship boundaries.

This online screening is not an official evaluation of your relationship or your partner’s behavior.

It’s a tool to help you better understand whether you may be involved in a relationship that could be considered abusive — emotionally, physically, or both.

If you’re in a domestic violence situation, knowing how to navigate the situation safely is crucial.

When you’re ready, consider reaching out to a mental health professional or social services about next steps. You’re not alone, and help is available.

If you feel you’re in danger and need help immediately, call 911. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 (SAFE) or text “Start” to 88788 for help.

There are numerous resources available to you if you’re experiencing IPV. Here are a few:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline. Free, confidential hotline to get non-judgmental support for both survivors and perpetrators.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Preventing stalking. Fast facts on how to prevent stalking.
  • The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Personalized safety plan.
  • Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (SPARC). Information for targets of stalking.
  • Help for male victims of domestic violence.

It's (not) your business. How do you know if you're a victim of domestic violence? They often lie to their surroundings, shielding the offender. But there are signs by which you can determine that you have a person in front of you who needs help

Journalist Diana Sadreeva wrote the book “You are not to blame: Why domestic violence is not about love. ” It is based on 50 interviews with women who have experienced abuse in its various manifestations. The book is coming out the other day by Alpina Publisher. Forbes Woman publishes a piece on how to understand that you are a victim of domestic violence and how you can delicately offer your help. nine0008

Finished reading here

The room was dark: a streetlight shining through the glass of the window cast a warm yellow light on the space. Sleep would not come, and the only thing left for me to do was turn to the wall, look at the drawings on the pink wallpaper of my girl's room and listen to the silence. I remember well how in the middle of the night a noise was heard from somewhere above - it looked like a stool had fallen on the floor. One sharp sound was followed by another, then another, and finally, a drawn-out female scream. Voices, male and female, mixed into a single mess: it was not clear who exactly was screaming and why. I looked out into the corridor, listened to the sounds and went to my parents' bedroom. nine0005

“Mommy,” I called as I opened the door.

Mom was sitting on the edge of the bed and was also listening intently. She turned around at the creaking of the door:

— Why aren't you sleeping? Go to sleep.

— Mom... what's that noise?

Pay no attention. Go to bed,” she repeated, and I left.

More than twenty years have passed since I first encountered that sound. I moved through several cities, countless cheap rooms and expensive apartments, and - no matter where I ended up - sooner or later I almost always heard the same thing: a sharp noise, a scream, a muffled fuss. These women can be seen everywhere - outwardly different, they scream in exactly the same way, they are afraid, they feel. Mini-market saleswomen, trolley bus conductors, primary school teachers, high-ranking officials, my relatives and best friends...

The victim of psychological pressure or physical violence constantly reports to the other half, does everything according to his orders, tries in every possible way to please him. She often speaks of him with apprehension or shows fear, often justifies the character of her partner, blames herself or treats the situation kindly, with a smile.

The main warning sign is changes in behavior (a sociable person in the past becomes withdrawn), unwillingness to communicate and go out without a second half, unexpected conversations about divorce or suicide, which just as unexpectedly end. nine0005

People who are physically abused may:

• talk about themselves "I'm so clumsy, I'm always bumping into things", talk about regular "accidents" or lie, making up excuses out of proportion to the damage done: for example, "We were playing with a kid and I hit the bed," though the facial bruising doesn't exactly look like the result of such an injury;

• Frequently skip work, school, social events without explanation, wear unseasonable close-fitting clothing, or wear sunglasses indoors. nine0005

People who are forced into isolation may:

• rarely appear in society without a spouse;

• meeting relatives and friends less and less;

• have limited access to money, credit cards, cars.

If you notice any of these signs, don't be afraid to appear intrusive and unceremonious, don't convince yourself that it's none of your business, that you might be wrong. Yes, you can really be wrong, then it will be enough to apologize and continue to live as if nothing had happened. But sometimes your silence can cost a human life. When I started collecting stories, I tried to stay non-interventionist. It turned out bad. Women sent photographs, audio messages with threats addressed to them, and videos of beatings; several times, shocked by what I saw and pained by empathy, I quit working on the book. nine0005

In doing so, I realized three important things.

First - often I was the first person with whom the victims shared their pain. Feeling that they are not alone with their fears is what victims of domestic violence need.

The second point is that talking to another person can help victims of domestic violence understand for the first time that what is happening to them is really not normal, and it is definitely violence that should not be happening.

Many were surprised, saying that, of course, they thought that this was not very good, but they did not understand it that much. nine0005

And the third point. The biggest reason women don't leave men is because of their children. Show victims, for example, articles about how domestic violence affects a child's future relationships with other people, self-esteem, and susceptibility to depression. And, if you can make any commitments to financial support, take them.

How to Start a Conversation :

• talk to the woman in private, just ask if there is something going on in her life that she would like to share. Do not start a conversation quietly, in your ear, at some party, as if you are looking for an excuse for gossip; nine0005

• Promise that the conversation will be anonymous and if she doesn't want to, no one will know. Keep your word, don't talk behind your back;

• tell us that you want to help and, if necessary, are ready to be there for you in any difficult life situation. Describe specifically what you can take on and what help you can provide.

What not to do :

• wait until the alleged victim of domestic violence contacts you;

• assess the situation in an accusatory tone, cite yourself or your friends as an example of exemplary behavior with men; nine0005

• put pressure on the victim, rush to make a decision, escalate the situation;

• justify the rapist and say that the victim is to blame;

• panic.

Remember: if you have never experienced psychological or physical abuse, then you most likely cannot fully appreciate the sophistication of the abuser's manipulations. Just be there.

  • Rihanna donated $2.1 million to help victims of violence in self-isolation
  • What did I do to help? Regina todorenko released a film about the problem of domestic violence
  • Mixit will help victims of domestic violence to contact the Violence.No Center

Old age without violence | Elderly people and domestic violence

Verify your age

We have created our website so that you can find out about the problem violence and how to protect yourself, help loved ones and where ask for help.

But if you are under 18, then the new law obliges us to warn you from information that may shock you, such as that family and relationships are built on the principles of love, respect and freedom, not violence, suffering and pain. nine0097 Therefore, we are forced to ask you to confirm your age:

We use cookies to improve our experience and improve site efficiency. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.

Estimated growth of the world population aged 60 years and over in 1995-2025

One of the major problems faced by older people is domestic violence. Research suggests that 4% to 6% of older people are abused , i.e. up to 86 million people in the world. At the same time, it is almost impossible to assess the real scale of the problem - as with partner violence, cases of abuse often do not fall into the statistics.

How does domestic violence against the elderly happen?

Causing pain or injury, using physical force or restricting freedom of movement by physical force or drugs.

Causing harm and suffering by verbal or non-verbal actions. Includes insults, pressure, coercion, isolation from friends and family, threats of harm (including other people or pets).

Illegal or improper use of the savings and property of the elderly.

Any non-consensual sexual contact with an older person (inappropriate touching, inappropriate language, rude or inappropriate touching during breast and/or genital hygiene, viewing sexual material in the presence of an older person, explicit phone calls of a sexual nature in the presence of an older person ). nine0005

Refusal and/or non-fulfillment of obligations or part of them by the person who takes responsibility for the elderly person or caregiver (absence / insufficient care in accordance with age: food, medicine, sleep, doctor visits, social services consultations or other bodies necessary for ensuring a decent and comfortable standard of living). This may be accompanied by intentional attempts to inflict physical or emotional suffering on an older person.

It is especially difficult for older people to protect themselves for many reasons: social isolation, health problems or lack of information about where to get help . Even in cases where physical abuse is used against older people, they often do not go to the police. This is because the perpetrators of violence against older people are most often their own children, and contacting law enforcement may be seen as a last resort that an older person may put off until it is too late.

With the support of Tinkoff , we have developed a system of assistance to the elderly and their relatives.

Psychological and legal consultations

The Center's specialists will help you recover, find a way out of the situation of violence, and partner volunteers will help you determine a plan for further action.

You can sign up for a consultation by calling the Center’s phone number:

8 495 916 3000
(on weekdays from 10:00 to 18:30)

Psychological support group

The support group is designed for relatives and caregivers of older people who face stress while caring for an elderly relative.

You can sign up for a support group by calling the Center's phone number:

8 495 916 3000
(on weekdays from 10:00 to 18:30)

It is important not to allow violence against the shadow to remain.

Each of you can be part of our campaign to raise awareness of this issue. You can contribute in three steps :

Learn how to recognize violence

share information about the problem in your social networks

. Distribute materials within the communities


not ok

to pay attention to: 9000 9000 9000

  • Remanding fear , alarm
  • fear of speaking in front of the caregiver
  • closeness, silence
  • inability to make an independent decision without the participation of a guardian
  • these are signals that a person may be subjected to violence


    Not OK

    What to look for:

    • bruises, bite marks, cuts, cuts 904
    • pain or limited movement
    • unexplained injuries (fractures, fractures in bones, sprains)

    these are signals that a person may be physically abused


    Not OK

    What to look for:

    • missing items
    • constant lack of money to meet basic needs: food, clothing, medicine, utility bills
    • withdrawal of large amounts from the account, change in financial habits, unusual/unreasonable/sudden spending
    • transfer of control over finances/residential and/or non-residential property to another person

    these are signals that a person may be exposed to economic violence


    Not OK . d.)

  • clothes not appropriate for the season, weather conditions
  • dirty and/or unsafe environment (open windows, exposed wires, equipment that could explode (e.g. a mobile phone with a swollen battery), etc.)
  • malnourished physical condition: dehydration, hypothermia, bedsores
  • these are signals that the needs of an older person are being neglected

  • weight loss
  • forcing an elderly person to take drugs without doctor's consent
  • lack of medical care
  • these are signals that the needs of the elderly are being neglected

  • feeling of loneliness
  • feeling of helplessness, loss, impasse
  • feeling of sadness, loss due to the cessation of communication with other people
  • nine0083 withdrawal, withdrawal, apathy
  • decreased physical activity compared to before, lethargy
  • these are signals that a person may be subjected to psychological abuse

    OK/NOT OK comic book idea developed in collaboration with Better platform volunteers

    Old age without violence: what people face when they get older

    A person who lives next door to you may need help.

    Learn more