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Warning signs of abuse

If someone is abusing you, they might:

•    put you down and act superior
•    do all of the talking and dominate the conversation
•    try to keep you away from family and friends
•    check up on you all the time
•    hit or slap you, or force you to have sex when you don’t want to
•    threaten to hurt you, your children, pets or property
•    make direct or indirect threats involving firearms or other weapon
•    minimize his or her violent behavior
•    say he or she can’t live without you and threaten suicide
•    have a history of abusing others, even animals
•    act extremely jealous and suspicious
•    show no regard for the law
•    use access to your children to harass you
•    do other things to hurt you physically or emotionally

If someone is doing one or more of these things to you, it is a warning sign that you are in an abusive relationship.

If you are being abused you might:

•    make exuses for the abusive behavior
•    have limited access to your friends and family
•    have limited access to a phone, a computer or money
•    be nervous about talking when the person is there
•    try to cover up bruises
•    fear for your life and for the safety of children or pets
•    make excuses and avoid people on the street
•    be in denial and unable to see the risk
•    blame yourself for the violent behavior and “walk around on eggshells”
•    feel sad, lonely, withdrawn and afraid
•    be sick more often and miss work
•    be defensive and angry
•    cope by using drugs or alcohol

If you have experienced any of these things, it is a warning sign that you are in an abusive relationship.

The risk of abuse may be even greater if:

•    you are pregnant or have young children
•    the person has access to weapons
•    the person has a history of abuse with others
•    the person has threatened to harm or kill, including children, pets or property
•    there is alcohol or drug abuse
•    the person has used physical violence in the past
•    the person is going through major life changes such as job loss or depression
•    you are involved in another relationship or the person thinks that you are
•    there is a custody issue concerning the children
•    you are recently separated or planning to separate from the person

Please take these warning signs seriously and get help.
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